THE Football Association last night banned Chelsea captain John Terry for a total of four games and fined him £220,000 after finding him guilty of racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.
It was over a four-day disciplinary hearing that the FA came to their conclusion despite a summer case at Westminster Magistrates’ Court clearing Terry of a racially aggravated public order offence, and it is this to which the former England captain objects.
A spokesman for Terry said: “Mr Terry is disappointed that the FA Regulatory Commission has reached a different conclusion to the clear not guilty verdict of a court of law.
“He has asked for the detailed written reasons of the decision and will consider them carefully before deciding whether to lodge an appeal.”
The development caps a dramatic period for Terry who on Sunday retired from international football after alleging that the FA’s pursuit of the hearing had made his England position “untenable”. He categorically denies the FA charge and can appeal the ruling within 14 days; neither the ban or fine will come into effect until a decision has been made.
“An independent regulatory commission has found a charge of misconduct against John Terry proven and has issued a suspension for a period of four matches and a fine of £220,000, pending appeal,” read the FA’s verdict.
“The Football Association charged Mr Terry on Friday 27 July 2012 with using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Queens Park Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand and which included a reference to colour and/or race contrary to FA Rule E3 in relation to the Queens Park Rangers FC versus Chelsea FC fixture at Loftus Road on 23 October 2011.”
Terry admitted during his court case that in the Premier League match in question he had used the words “f****** black c***” but was adamant that he had only been repeating that which he believed Ferdinand had accused him of saying.
Chelsea, for whom Terry has been club captain since 2004, also issued a statement. It read: “Chelsea Football Club notes and respects the decision by the Football Association regarding John Terry. We also recognise that John has the right to appeal that decision.
“It is therefore inappropriate for us to comment further on the matter at this time.”
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was last season given an eight-match ban when a disciplinary panel from the FA found him to be guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra in a fixture between the two sides. The panel was then insistent that simply using racist language represented a breach of the FA’s rules.
Andrew Nixon, sports specialist at law firm Thomas Eggar LLP, said of the verdict: “It appears that the key argument run by the player was that the FA should accept that the matter had already been determined by a Court of competent jurisdiction, and therefore the FA had no jurisdiction to rule on the matter.
“This argument was always unlikely to succeed. This is an incident that took place during a Premier League match involving two players contracted to member clubs. It is therefore a matter which falls squarely within the FA’s jurisdiction.”