Premier League

John Terry accepts four-match ban

John Terry will serve a four-match ban after deciding not to appeal the FA's decision.
John Terry will serve a four-match ban after deciding not to appeal the FA's decision.
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Chelsea defender John Terry has decided not to appeal against a four-match ban and fine of £220,000 for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

Terry had until 6pm Thursday evening to contest the sanction issued by an independent Football Association regulatory commission.

However, in a statement released via his representatives Elite Management, Terry said: "After careful consideration, I have decided not to appeal against the FA judgment.

"I want to take this opportunity to apologize 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."

Terry was found guilty by the independent FA commission of calling Ferdinand a "[expletive] black [expletive]" during a Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and QPR on October 23.

He has always maintained that he was merely repeating an accusation leveled at him by Ferdinand, but the commission found that his words were used as an insult.

The commission described Terry's version of events at Loftus Road as "improbable, implausible and contrived" in their written reasons for issuing the ban.

The three-man panel also questioned why Terry's team-mate Ashley Cole had changed his statement to give more support to Terry's story, sparking a furious response from the Chelsea and England defender who described the FA as a "bunch of [expletive]" in a tweet sent on October 5.

Cole has since issued a full apology for that and has admitted a misconduct charge.

The commission said in its written reasons: "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 '[expletive] black [expletive]' were directed at Mr. 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.

"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," added the commission.

Terry had been cleared in Westminster Magistrates Court in July of a racially-aggravated public order offense, partly helped by the testimony of 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 October 28. On November 3, 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."

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