John Terry won't appeal
Chelsea defender John Terry has decided not to appeal against a four-match ban and fine of £220,000 for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
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Terry had until 6pm on Thursday evening to contest the sanction issued by an independent Football Association regulatory commission.
However, in a statement released via his representatives 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."
Terry's statement continued: "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 a Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and 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 why Terry's team-mate Ashley Cole had changed his statement to give more support to Terry's story, sparking a furious response from the Chelsea and England defender who described the FA as a "bunch of t***s" in a tweet sent on October 5.
Cole has since issued a full apology for that and has admitted a misconduct charge.
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.
However, the commission found that there were discrepancies in Cole's initial statement to FA interviewers of what he heard Ferdinand say to Terry compared to later statements.
Cole did not mention the word 'black' in the initial interview with the FA on October 28. On November 3, Chelsea club secretary David Barnard asked the FA for the specific word 'black' to be inserted into Cole's witness statement, suggesting that Cole may have heard Ferdinand use the term.
The commission saw an email exchange between the FA and Barnard and said that should be regarded as "cogent new evidence".
John Terry Factfile
1980: December 7 - born in London.
1998: Makes Chelsea debut against Aston Villa.
2001: One of four players fined two weeks' wages by Chelsea after their behaviour at a Heathrow hotel is criticised on the day after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
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 after the Football Association decide he should not be considered for international duty with England until the legal case is completed.
2003: June 3 - Makes England debut as substitute against Serbia and Montenegro.
2004: August 15 - Appointed Chelsea captain, succeeding Marcel Desailly.
2006: August 10 - Chosen to replace David Beckham as England captain by head coach Steve McClaren.
2008: May 21 - Misses penalty in shoot-out against Manchester United which would have won Chelsea the Champions League.
August 19 - Named as permanent captain of England by Fabio Capello.
2009: December 20 - Chelsea defend Terry after allegations he took secret cash payments to lay on a behind-the-scenes tour of the club's training ground.
2010: January 29: 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.
February 5 - Axed as England captain following a meeting with Capello.
February 27 - Bridge refuses to shake Terry's hand before Chelsea's match with Manchester City.
2011: March 19 - Restored to the role of permanent England captain by Capello.
October 23 - Releases a statement denying he made a racist slur against Anton Ferdinand during Chelsea's defeat at QPR after videos had circulated on the internet.
November 1 - The Metropolitan Police confirm they have launched a formal investigation into the Ferdinand incident.
December 21 - The Crown Prosecution Service announce Terry will be charged with racially abusing Ferdinand and is due to appear before West London Magistrates' Court on February 1, 2012.
2012: January 28 - The FA cancels the pre-match handshakes before the FA Cup fourth-round tie between QPR and Chelsea "to defuse further tensions" relating to the Terry-Ferdinand situation.
February 1 - District Judge Howard Riddle orders that Terry should stand trial in the week beginning July 9 - following Euro 2012 - after hearing a number of other Chelsea players would not be able to appear as witnesses until the end of the football season.
February 3 - Terry is stripped of the England captaincy for a second time. The decision was taken by members of the 14-strong FA board, without consulting Capello.
February 8 - Capello resigns as England manager two days after criticising the decision to strip Terry of the captaincy.
April 18 - 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.
April 24 - Sent off in second leg against Barca at Nou Camp for kneeing Alexis Sanchez from behind in the first half. Chelsea draw the game 2-2 and reach the final.
May 5 - Picks up his fifth FA Cup winner's medal after Chelsea overcome Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley.
May 19 - Chelsea win their first Champions League after stunning Bayern Munich with a penalty shoot-out victory at the Allianz Arena. Terry, banned for the final for his red card against Barcelona, is ridiculed for changing into full kit at the final whistle to join in with the celebrations.
June 24 - Plays the full 90 minutes and extra time as England suffer more penalty heartache, losing their Euro 2012 quarter-final to Italy on penalties.
July 13 - Cleared at Westminster Magistrates' Court of making a racist insult to Ferdinand.
July 27 - Charged by the FA with using racist language towards QPR defender Ferdinand.
August 30 - Recalled to England squad, after missing friendly against Sweden, for September's World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.
September 9 - Withdraws from England squad for Ukraine game after picking up ankle injury in 5-0 win in Moldova.
September 23 - Announces his retirement from international football, shortly before the start of his personal hearing to answer the FA charge.
September 27 - Banned for four matches and fined £220,000 by an FA independent regulatory commission.
October 5 - FA reveal written reasons behind independent commission's ruling, insisting Terry's racist language towards Ferdinand was used as an insult and finding "no credible basis" for his defence that he was only repeating words he believed the QPR defender said to him.
October 18 - Terry decides not to appeal against the four-match ban and fine. Terry also apologises for the language he used in the match against QPR.