Chelsea defender John Terry has returned back to training this morning after being found ‘guilty’ of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand by the Football Association, according to The Daily Mail.
Yesterday afternoon’s verdict, which was to ban the Blues skipper for four games, has furthered what is an already tarnished reputation. In addition to the decision, in the past year Terry has lost his England captaincy, retired from international football and seen his multi-million pound contract with Umbro cancelled.
In a statement read yesterday the FA gave their reasoning for their decision, “The Football Association charged Mr Terry 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 the ‘FA Rule E3’ in relation to the Queens Park Rangers FC versus Chelsea FC fixture at Loftus Road on the 23rd October 2011.”
The Statement continued, “Mr Terry has the right to appeal the decision of the Independent Regulatory Commission to an Appeal Board. An appeal must be lodged within 14 days from receipt of the written reasons for the decision.”
In response to the statement released by the FA, Chelsea replied with their own statement, “Chelsea Football Club notes and respects today’s decision. We also recognise that John has the right to appeal that decision. It is there inappropriate for us to comment further.”
Some in the media have already expressed their disapproval at the length of Terry’s ban. This includes BBC’s Match of the Day presenter Gary Linekar who tweeted, “The FA find John Terry guilty and give him a 4 match ban and 220K fine. Just one more game than a regular red card?”
Indeed the decision does seem baffling, when one compares the case to Luis Suarez who received an eight-match suspension by the FA for a similar crime.
The Chairman of football’s anti-racism body Kick It Out, Lord Ouseley, said that Terry needed to be punished in order to set an example for future generations, “This isn’t about John Terry being a racist and clearly no-one should be accusing him of that. But we’ve all got to pull collectively to move forward in a way that makes football a better place where the sort of language that is used in every day and on the field of play has to stop.”
On the field, Terry’s ban couldn’t arrive at much of a worse time for the European champions who play three of last season’s top four in their next four Premier League fixtures. The 31-year-old will miss Chelsea’s visit to Arsenal, as well as another trip to north London to face Tottenham Hotspur.
Terry will also be absent for game against last season’s runners-up Manchester United, as well as the visit of Premier League strugglers Norwich City. The former England captain will be back in time however to play in Chelsea’s second game in four days against Manchester United in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup and is still eligible to play in the Champion’s League as the case was a domestic matter.