Four-game ban for Terry

  • Last Updated: September 28 2012, 8:26 BST

John Terry has been handed a four-match ban for racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand but the length of the suspension has already been questioned.

John Terry: Banned for four games

The Chelsea skipper had denied the charge but an FA independent regulatory commission ruled he was guilty of misconduct during the Barclays Premier League defeat at QPR on October 23 last year. He was also fined £220,000, thought to be just over a week's wages.

Terry, 31, is considering an appeal, meanwhile questions have been asked why the ban imposed was only half the length of Liverpool's Luis Suarez, who served an eight-match suspension for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

Senior figures in football's anti-racism movements have privately queried the difference, but are unlikely to speak publicly until the appeals process is completed.

Joey Barton has also criticised the decision as "a shambles" compared to his own 12-game ban for violent conduct. He said on Twitter: "What an absolute farce. 12 games for violent conduct and only 4 for that. FA should be embarrassed #shambles."

Terry expressed disappointment after the outcome, pointing out he was found not guilty in magistrates court in July of a racially-motivated public order offence in connection with the same incident.

Terry's representatives, Elite Management, said in a statement released on his behalf: "Mr Terry is disappointed that the FA Regulatory Commission has reached 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."

Terry had been accused of calling Ferdinand a "f****** black c***" as an insult. He admitted using the words, but insisted he had only been repeating words he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying.

The written reasons will also provide the explanation for the difference in length of ban compared to Suarez.

The most likely outcome is that Terry only said the insult once, while Suarez was judged by his panel to have called Evra "negro" up to seven times. Suarez was also fined around a week's wages - in his case £40,000.

Terry is likely to still be available to play for Chelsea against Arsenal on Saturday as the ban does not start until after the appeals process has been concluded.

The defender has 14 days from the receipt of the written reasons for the decision, and if he does appeal then that hearing may not take place until the end of next month.

That could see the Chelsea captain still being available for the club's other Premier League matches in October against Norwich, Tottenham and Manchester United.

Chelsea issued a statement saying it "respected" the verdict - a different response to the stance taken by Liverpool over Suarez.

A statement said: "Chelsea Football Club notes and respects today's 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."

The case centred around an incident during Chelsea's Barclays Premier League defeat at QPR on October 23 last year when Terry and Ferdinand clashed verbally on a number of occasions.

The FA's decision to press ahead with their own charges infuriated Terry to the extent that on Sunday, on the eve of the disciplinary hearing he announced he was quitting international football with immediate effect, saying his position was "untenable".

The FA have not provided any details about the decision, a statement merely laying out the outcome.

The FA said: "An independent regulatory commission has today 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.

"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[2] in relation to the Queens Park Rangers FC versus Chelsea FC fixture at Loftus Road on 23 October 2011.

"The charge was the result of The FA's long-standing investigation into this matter, which was placed on hold at the request of the Crown Prosecution Service and Mr Terry's representatives pending the outcome of the criminal trial.

"The decision of the Independent Regulatory Commission is as follows:

  • Mr Terry be suspended from all domestic club football until such time as Chelsea's First Team have completed four competitive matches
  • Fined the sum of £220,000."

"The independent regulatory commission will provide written reasons for its decision in due course. 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 penalty is suspended until after the outcome of any appeal, or the time for appealing expires, or should Mr Terry decide not to appeal. The reason for this is to ensure that the penalty does not take effect before any appeal so that Mr Terry has an effective right of appeal."

MP Damian Collins, a member of the culture, media and sport committee that produced a report on racism in football earlier this month, said Terry should now admit what he did was wrong.

Collins said: "It would be good if there was some sort of recognition on John Terry's part that what he did was wrong. This is something football should learn from."

In regards to the comparison with Suarez's eight-match suspension, Collins added: "The FA have to establish some sort of consistency. If the longer ban is due to more incidents within the match then that's their right. I certainly think what John Terry got was the minimum.

"If there is a scale of these offences, the FA should give some sort of penalties people can expect."

Tottenham's former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas insists Terry will be sorely missed by England following his international retirement.

"It's a massive, massive loss for England," said Villas-Boas.

"John Terry is a player with unbelievable talent and helped this country so much, and the same for Chelsea too.

"In the end they are his decisions, personal decisions.

"It's difficult for a player to take a position like this but on the perspective of England and qualification it leaves (England manager) Roy Hodgson in a difficult position bearing in mind the centre-backs he has at his disposal.

"I'm not putting into question the quality of the other players, but he is certainly missing one player of great, great talent."

Former England manager Graham Taylor said he hoped a line could now be drawn underneath the case.

He told Sky Sports News: "Having sat on these panels and made judgements myself I know those people will have come to their conclusion in an honest and proper manner - they will have had legal advice.

"Whether John and Chelsea accept is it up to them but I think it might be in everyone's interest to put it to bed."

Kick it Out's Lord Herman Ouseley told BBC Radio 5 Live: "This is not about recriminations. It's about how football moves forward from here after it has spent 11 months going through the wringer.

"People are trying to make the game a better place to be. Seven million people play on a regular basis and we want them to play in an atmosphere of no abuse."

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