Terry to take on Gunners

Martyn Ziegler

JOHN TERRY is set to be available for Chelsea’s match at Arsenal tomorrow despite being handed a four-match ban for racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.

Terry was today believed to be taking legal advice before deciding whether to lodge an appeal after an FA independent regulatory commission ruled he was guilty of misconduct during the Premier League defeat at QPR on October 23 last year.

He was also fined £220,000, reported to be just over a week’s wages.

Terry, 31, should be available for Chelsea tomorrow though because his ban is suspended 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.

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.

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

Senior figures in football’s anti-racism movements have privately queried where there should be a difference, but are unlikely to speak publicly until the appeals process is completed.

However, Jose Mourinho, Stamford Bridge manager between 2004 and 2007, said: “He’s not a racist – that’s 100 per cent.


“We had a squad where we had 12 African players in the squad. It was a fantastic squad and he always had a great relationship with every one of them.

“But in football it can happen during a match, because football sometimes is more than a game and sometimes you have reactions that don’t represent what you are really.

“Probably he had a racist comment or attitude against an opponent. Sometimes in football we do things the wrong way.

“If he had that reaction he should pay – but please don’t say he’s a racist. (Didier) Drogba, (Claude) Makelele ... all of them will say he’s not a racist.

“I never felt it (racism) in my dressing room. And I have always had African players in every one of my teams.”

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, meanwhile, today said the Football Association could have dealt with the case more swiftly than they did.

The original incident occurred in a Premier League game at QPR on October 23 last year, meaning it took over 11 months for the case to reach its conclusion – and it could be longer if Terry lodges an appeal.

Terry was found not guilty at Westminster Magistrates' Court in July of a racially-aggravated public order offence in connection with the same incident.

The FA were not prepared to begin their own disciplinary process until the court dealt with the case, but Scudamore does not see why that was a necessary step.


“The fact is, the criminal justice system has had a look at it and decided and the football system, which is a different test and I respect the fact the FA has to look at it, has also decided,” said Scudamore.

“It is very difficult, but my concern is the length of time that this takes because we have been sitting here, unable to move on and unable to get clarity. We have to work out a way of doing these things earlier.

“If the argument is that these (charges) are completely separate, irrespective of what the courts decide, if football's test is different, why can't we decide (the outcome) if it is a completely different test?

“I don't quite know why one has to wait for the other if the tests are completely different.

“It would have been much better for everybody, whether the outcome is positive or negative, if it was done quickly.”