LONDON — John Terry has issued an apology after deciding not to appeal against his four-match ban for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers (QPR)’s Anton Ferdinand. The Chelsea captain will miss the club’s next four domestic matches.
An independent Football Association panel found him guilty of racially abusing Ferdinand during a game between Chelsea and QPR on October 23 2011.
Terry said yesterday: “I want to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone for the language I used in the game.”
The 31-year-old defender added: “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.”
Terry will now miss Chelsea’s Premier League fixtures against Tottenham, Manchester United and Swansea, as well as a League Cup fourth-round tie against Manchester United.
But the centre-half will be available for next week’s Champions League group game against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Following Terry’s guilty verdict, the FA described his defence as “improbable, implausible and contrived” and said it was “satisfied” his comments were used as an insult. However, the panel’s report stressed that he was “not a racist”.
Terry was charged by the FA despite being cleared by Westminster Magistrates’ Court of racially abusing Ferdinand.
Terry argued that he had only been repeating words he thought the Rangers defender had accused him of saying.
But the independent panel’s report said a “more plausible” explanation was that Terry was “angry” at both the way the game was going, as well as Ferdinand’s taunts about an affair Terry was reported to have had with the ex-partner of former teammate Wayne Bridge. Chelsea have not yet revealed if they will take any disciplinary action against Terry. The club had previously said it would make its decision after Terry decided whether he would appeal. —BBC Sport