LONDON: Chelsea captain John Terry has decided not to appeal against the four-match ban and £220,000 fine imposed by an FA tribunal following the racist comment storm writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
One year after the controversial incident during a Premier League clash at Loftus Road, Terry has effectively drawn a line under the saga. Terry also apologised for the language he had used in the incident and which was examined in detail by the July court case which led to his acquittal of criminal charges.
Chelsea, who have imposed their own disciplinary sanction, will be relieved by the announcement from Terry who had until 6pm today to contest the sanction issued by an independent Football Association regulatory commission.
In a statement released via his representative Elite Management, Terry said: “After careful consideration, I have decided not to appeal against the FA judgment. I want to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone for the language I used in the game against Queens Park Rangers last October.
“Although I’m disappointed with the FA judgment, I accept that the language I used, regardless of the context, is not acceptable on the football field or indeed in any walk of life.
“As I stated in the criminal case, with the benefit of hindsight my language was clearly not an appropriate reaction to the situation for someone in my position. My response was below the level expected by Chelsea Football Club, and by me, and it will not happen again.
“Looking forward, I will continue to do my part in assisting the club to remove all types of discriminatory behaviour from football. I am extremely grateful for the consistent support of Chelsea FC, the fans and my family.”
Terry was found guilty by the independent FA commission of calling Ferdinand a “f****** black c***” during the Chelsea’s visit to QPR on October 23. He has always maintained that he was merely repeating an accusation levelled at him by Ferdinand, but the commission found that his words were used as an insult.
The commission described Terry’s version of events at Loftus Road as “improbable, implausible and contrived” in their written reasons for issuing the ban.
The three-man panel also questioned the evidence offered in support of Terry by team-mate Ashley Cole.
The commission said in its written reasons: “The commission is quite satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that there is no credible basis for Mr Terry’s defence that his use of the words ‘f****** black c***’ were directed at Mr Ferdinand by way of forceful rejection and/or inquiry.
“Instead, we are quite satisfied, and find on the balance of probabilities, that the offending words were said by way of insult.
“Accordingly, the commission finds that there is ‘clear and convincing’ evidence.”
The commission said that character references from a number of people, including black players, made it clear that Terry was not racially prejudiced.
“It is accepted by everyone involved in the criminal and disciplinary proceedings that Mr Terry is not a racist,” added the commission.
Terry had been cleared in Westminster Magistrates Court in July of a racially-aggravated public order offence, partly helped by the testimony of Cole.
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