Pretty much as we expected, John Terry announced yesterday he’s decided not to appeal the FA ban he was given. Not, as some have tried to claim, because he is suddenly admitting to making ‘racial insults’, but because he is taking the punishment imposed for “the use of abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour” which “included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race”.
Call me pedantic if you like but I would say JT was quite clear he’s still ‘not guilty’ of racism as determined by the court – and indeed the FA even acknowledged JT “is not a racist” – so I’m no more pedantic than those who continue to suggest otherwise.
Anyway, in his statement, the Chelsea captain says “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. 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.”
And in spite of those out there holding on to the hope that the gallows may still be erected at some point – even by his own club – they’ll have been sorely disappointed by Chelsea’s decision not to bow to the pressure being put on to strip him of his captaincy. And the press will be even more disappointed that the club are standing by their policy to maintain confidentiality around disciplinary matters, saying only that he has been disciplined by the club and that the details of this won’t be released.
In a statement, the club added “John Terry has made the correct decision by not appealing against the FA judgment. Chelsea also appreciates, and supports, John’s full apology for the language he used. The club firmly believes such language is not acceptable and fell below the standards expected of John as a Chelsea player.”
So, I’m sure we’ll hear no more about it eh?