John Terry race case: FA find Chelsea captain guilty

The pariah: Terry faces uncertain future after FA find him guilty in Ferdinand race case



23:11 GMT, 27 September 2012

John Terry's future was shrouded in uncertainty after he was banned for four matches by the FA and fined a record 220,000 for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.

Terry expressed his 'disappointment', claiming the verdict went against his acquittal at Westminster Magistrates Court in July.

But the FA’s independent four-man panel left a significant stain on an already battered reputation. Terry has lost the England captaincy, chosen to retire from international football and seen major sponsors desert him.

Day four: Terry received a four-match ban

Day four: Terry received a four-match ban

Day four: Terry arrived at Wembley with a verdict imminent

As Sportsmail revealed at the time, Umbro
were quick to remove Terry from their major advertising campaigns last
season and had no intention of renewing a multi-million pound deal that
expired in the summer.

The verdict will be followed by a written report in the next week. It took 10 days to issue the report on the Luis Suarez case, but the FA hope to be faster on this occasion.

In their statement, the FA made it clear the 31-year-old had been punished for using racist language towards Ferdinand at Loftus Road last October.

Back in action: Terry featured against Wolves on Tuesday night

Back in action: Terry featured against Wolves on Tuesday night

They said: ‘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 FA Rule E3[2] in relation to the Queens Park Rangers FC versus Chelsea FC fixture at Loftus Road on 23 October 2011.

‘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.’

The fine for using the words ‘f****** black ****’ is the highest ever levied on an individual by the FA. It may be no coincidence that it corresponds to Terry’s weekly wage at Chelsea. Suarez was fined 40,000 for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra last season and in setting that figure, the independent panel said they ‘took account of the information that was placed before us about his weekly salary’.

All parties concerned stressed last night that they would wait for the written report before considering their next move.

Ferdinand, who was among those who gave evidence over the three-day hearing at Wembley this week, will not respond until he has read the full report. The FA have adopted the same position. They could appeal, arguing that four matches is not enough, but that is considered unlikely.

Chelsea, who ban for life any fan who uses racist language at Stamford Bridge, also want to see the report. A statement read: ‘Chelsea Football Club notes and respects today’s decision. We also recognise that John has the right to appeal that decision. It is therefore inappropriate for us to comment further.’

Precedent: Suarez (left) was banned for eight matches last season

Precedent: Suarez (left) was banned for eight matches last season

Cleared: Terry faced a court case earlier this summer regarding the same incident

Cleared: Terry faced a court case earlier this summer regarding the same incident

A spokesman for Terry said the player
was ‘disappointed’ the FA had reached a ‘different conclusion’ from the
‘not guilty verdict of a court of law’.

FA also came in for criticism. Why was Terry’s ban only four matches
when Suarez received eight for racially abusing Manchester United’s
Patrice Evra

And why,
once again, has a verdict been issued without a simultaneous written
explanation that removes any questions about the punishment.

Old pals: Jose Mourinho has defended his former captain, saying he is not a racist

Old pals: Jose Mourinho has defended his former captain, saying he is not a racist

Twitter on Terry

On the latter point, the FA will
argue that it is part of their disciplinary process. Some mitigation has
to follow the verdict before a written report is then submitted by the
QC leading the panel.

identity of the panellists — beyond former England winger Stuart
Ripley, now a sports lawyer — remained a closely guarded secret last
night because they wish to limit the personal abuse they might receive
in such a high- profile case.

the eyes of many, the length of the ban does seem bizarre. For that
particular FA charge the statutory punishment is four matches and Suarez
received more because he repeated the word ‘negro’.

But a four-match ban for the use of racist language does seem lenient. Last season Ruesha Littlejohn, at the time a player for Liverpool Ladies, received a six-match ban for tweeting a joke that made reference to sexual orientation.

As Gary Lineker tweeted: ‘The FA find John Terry guilty and give him a 4 match ban and 220K fine. Just one game more than a regular red card’

Lord Ouseley, the chairman of football’s anti-racism body Kick It Out, said he hoped football could learn from this case.

'This isn’t about John Terry being a racist and clearly no-one should be accusing him and nobody has accused him of that,' he said. '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 every day and on the field of play has to stop.'


HIGH – Makes Chelsea debut against Aston Villa in October 1998.

LOW – Is one of four players fined two weeks' wages by Chelsea after their behaviour at a Heathrow hotel is criticised on the day after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

LOW – In 2002, Terry and Chelsea team-mate Jody Morris are cleared after being charged with assault and affray in connection with a nightclub incident. Terry, uncapped at the time, is ruled out of the World Cup by the FA until the legal case is completed.

HIGH – Makes England debut as substitute against Serbia and Montenegro in June 2003.

HIGH – Appointed Chelsea captain as the successor to Marcel Desailly in August 2004.

HIGH – Succeeds David Beckham as England captain in August 2006.

Moscow tears

LOW – Misses crucial kick in a penalty shoot-out to decide the 2008 Champions League final against Manchester United, who go on to lift the trophy.

LOW – In December 2009, Chelsea are forced to defend Terry after allegations he took secret cash payments to lay on a behind-the-scenes tour of the club's training ground.

LOW – In January 2010, Terry is named as the sportsman behind a gagging injunction involving his private life. A court order had previously been in place, covering an alleged relationship between married Terry and French model Vanessa Perroncel, a former partner of team-mate Wayne Bridge.

LOW – Is axed as England captain in February following a meeting with Fabio Capello.

LOW – Bridge refuses to shake Terry's hand before Chelsea's match with Manchester City on February 27.

HIGH – Is restored to the role of permanent England captain by Capello in March 2011.

LOW – In October 2011, Terry is accused of making a racist slur against Anton Ferdinand during Chelsea's defeat at QPR. A police investigation is launched which culminates in the Crown Prosecution Service announcing that charges would be brought. In February 2012, West London Magistrates' Court rules that Terry should stand trial in the week beginning July 9.


LOW – Terry is stripped of the England captaincy for a second time on February 3. The decision was taken by members of the 14-strong FA board, without consulting Capello. Capello resigns as England manager on February 8, two days after criticising the decision to strip Terry of the captaincy.

HIGH – Terry captains Chelsea to a famous 1-0 victory over Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final encounter at Stamford Bridge on April 18.

LOW – A week later, Chelsea's hopes in the second leg at the Nou Camp are hit when Terry is shown a straight red card for inexplicably kneeing Alexis Sanchez from behind in the first half.

HIGH – Is cleared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on July 13 of making a racist insult to Ferdinand, but two weeks later is charged by the FA with using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards the QPR defender. It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Ferdinand. Terry denies the charge and requests a personal hearing.

LOW – Announces his retirement from international football on September 23, shortly before the start of his personal hearing to answer the FA charge.

LOW – Banned for four matches and fined 220,000 by an FA independent regulatory commission.