FA release written reasons for Terry racism decision

The Football Association have released their reasons in writing for the verdict that saw the Chelsea and former England captain John Terry convicted of racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand and subsequently fined and banned for four Premier League games.

According to the Guardian, the FA found the 31-year-old’s defence of the charges to be “improbable, implausible and contrived.” Terry announced his retirement from international football ahead of the hearing, claiming that the governing body’s decision to hold the hearing despite his clearance by Westminster magistrates court had made his place in the England national team “untenable.

The report 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 committee went on to question Terry’s teammate Ashley Cole and his continued support of his club captain, citing inconsistencies and discrepancies in the left-back’s various statements – namely that Cole initially declared that he had not heard Anton Ferdinand use the word “black” towards John Terry, only for the Chelsea full-back to backtrack and claim that he had indeed heard the term only days later.

These highly material issues relating to Mr Cole’s evidence were not addressed by the chief magistrate,” the Commission continued. “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.

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