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Monday 11 December 2017

Video: John Terry should not be on trial for racism, says teammate Ashley Cole

Chelsea defender John Terry arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court in central London. Photo: Reuters
Chelsea defender John Terry arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court in central London. Photo: Reuters

ENGLAND footballer John Terry should not have been taken to court over racism claims, Chelsea team mate Ashley Cole said today.

Chelsea defender Terry, 31, is accused of calling Anton Ferdinand a "f------ black c---" during a Premier League game on October 23 last year.

He denies a racially aggravated public order offence, saying that he was sarcastically repeating the slur that Ferdinand mistakenly thought he had used.

Today Cole, also 31, told Westminster Magistrates Court: "I think we shouldn't be sitting here."

He said that while racism should never be tolerated, repeating what you thought someone said was 'completely different'.

Cole said: "If I repeated something that I thought you said, that's totally different than if someone just says something."

Cole said on the day of the match at Loftus Road, he saw Ferdinand make a fist gesture to imply sex and could see him saying something about "Bridgey" or "black".

"I can't make out - him either saying Bridgey (Cole made the fist gesture) or black."

He said he thought QPR centre-half Ferdinand's taunts were "not necessary" and did not shake his hand after the game.

He did not hear Terry say anything in reply to the goading, the court heard.

Later in the game, Terry told Cole he thought Ferdinand had accused him of using a racist obscenity.

After the match, Cole was present when Terry asked Ferdinand what had happened

"I think John said 'Did you think I called you a black c---, did you think I was being racist?' Then I said 'Did you think John was being racist? Anton said 'No, no'."

The two players then shook hands and went their separate ways.

Cole described Terry as "a close friend", with whom he had played at Chelsea and for England for six or seven years.

But he said there was a "conflict" because he is also friends with Ferdinand and his brother Rio.

He was asked by George Carter-Stephenson QC, for Terry: "Did you want to get involved in the situation?"

"No."

The barrister asked about a statement Cole made after the match.

Mr Carter-Stephenson said: "When you made the statement what was in your mind?"

Cole replied: "The FA summoned me to do it."

Mr Carter-Stephenson continued: "Did you feel there was any conflict?"

Cole said: "Yeah. JT is my team-mate and friend; Anton and Rio and his family, I've known for a long time."

He said Terry would laugh off taunts on the football pitch.

"He would probably laugh about it, it's part and parcel of the game and you get used to it."

When asked to describe Terry as a football captain, he said: "He's one of the best, very inspirational."

The trial continues.

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