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John Terry's racist remark to Anton Ferdinand was an insult, insist panel

Updated: Friday, 05 Oct 2012 15:32 | Comments

An independent FA panel claim that John Terry's racist language towards Anton Ferdinand was meant as an insult
An independent FA panel claim that John Terry's racist language towards Anton Ferdinand was meant as an insult

John Terry's racist language towards Anton Ferdinand was used as an insult, an independent Football Association panel has found.

The commission which banned Terry for four matches said there was "no credible basis" for the Chelsea skipper's defence that he was only repeating words he believed the QPR defender said to him.

Terry admitted using the words "f***ing black c***" during a match in October last year but had claimed he had only been repeating words he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying.

In its full written reasons for the four-match ban, the FA's independent regulatory commission said it was satisfied the words were intended as an insult by Terry. He now has two weeks in which to appeal.

The commission said: "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 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.

"We are able to arrive at that decision without needing to make any adverse findings against Mr Terry arising out of his decision not to give evidence.

"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," said the Commission.

Ashley Cole's statement supporting Terry's version, and the role played by a Chelsea club official, has also been questioned by 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 England and Chelsea team-mate 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 28 October. On 3 November, 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".

The commission said: "These highly material issues relating to Mr Cole's evidence were not addressed by the Chief Magistrate - he clearly did not have the interview notes of the FA's interviewers, or Mr Barnard's statement before him - and they do not appear in his judgment.

"Accordingly, that material can and should properly be regarded as cogent new evidence.

"Had it been before him, the commission has no doubt that the Chief Magistrate would have examined Mr Cole's evidence as to what he claims he heard Mr Ferdinand say to Mr Terry on the pitch very carefully indeed, or scrutinised it even more closely than he may have done."

It adds: "All of this causes the commission to have very real concerns about the accuracy of Mr Barnard's recollections, and the motivation for the assertions that he makes in his witness statement about what Mr Cole said during the FA interview of him, particularly his alleged use of the word 'black'.

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