LONDON – Football Association chiefs have been urged to follow the precedent set by the Luis Suarez case and take action against Chelsea captain John Terry for using racially offensive language.
England defender Terry was found not guilty of racially abusing rival player Anton Ferdinand at the end of a five-day trial at Westminster Magistrates Court in London Friday.
During the trial, Terry admitted using harsh words to Ferdinand during a match between Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers on October 23 last year. He was acquitted by chief magistrate Howard Riddle on the grounds there was reasonable doubt over whether Terry intended to be abusive. Terry himself maintained he’d used the words only in the form of a question.
Suarez, Liverpool’s Uruguay forward, was banned for eight matches for using the Spanish word ‘negrito’ (little black) in a clash with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra last season.
The FA disciplinary commission in the Suarez case ruled he had broken rule E3 (1) of the FA’s rule book simply by using racially offensive language and that any intention on the striker’s part was no defence.
A commission including leading lawyer Paul Goulding said in its written verdict: “In our judgment, the test for breach of Rule E3 (1) is objective.
“The question is simply whether the words or behavior are abusive or insulting...It is not necessary the alleged offender intends his words or behaviour to be abusive or insulting in order to breach Rule E3 (1).
Anti-racism campaigner Lord Herman Ouseley urged both the FA and English clubs to step up their efforts in combating offensive language.
“I think if clubs themselves are taking a lead about what standard of behavior and conduct they expect.” — AP