Chelsea’s Terry Won’t Appeal Four-Match Racial-Abuse Ban

Chelsea captain John Terry said he won’t appeal against a four-game ban and 220,000-pound ($355,000) fine for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in a game last season.

The punishment was handed down by an independent panel appointed by the Football Association, English soccer’s ruling body, after a four-day hearing last month. He was acquitted by a London court in a criminal case over the incident in July.

“After careful consideration, I have decided not to appeal against the F.A. judgment,” Terry, 31, said in a statement on his management company’s website today. “I want to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone for the language I used.”

He added that “although I’m disappointed with the F.A. 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.”

Chelsea said on its website that it’s taken disciplinary action against Terry, adding that the internal sanctions “will remain confidential.”

Separately, the F.A. today fined Terry’s Chelsea teammate Ashley Cole 90,000 pounds after the defender referred to the governing body in offensive language on Twitter following the panel’s criticism of his supporting evidence for Terry.

Terry had 14 days from the Oct. 5 publication of the F.A. panel’s written reasoning for its decision to mount an appeal. His ban starts with a Premier League game at Tottenham in two days. The suspension covers only domestic games so Terry will be available to play in next week’s Champions League match at Shakhtar Donetsk. Chelsea won the elite European competition for the first time in May.

He’ll also miss a Capital One Cup game against Manchester United and Premier League matches with United and Swansea.

Ferdinand Incident

The incident with Ferdinand came to light within an hour of Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat at local west London rival QPR last October when footage appeared on video-sharing website YouTube showing Terry mouthing the words “f***ing black c***.” An off-duty policeman who watched the game on television made the complaint to police, prompting the criminal case.

Terry admitted in court he used those words, but said he was doing so in the form of a question, asking Ferdinand sarcastically if he was accusing Terry of abusing him.

‘Convincing’ Evidence

The F.A. commission said there was “clear and convincing evidence” against Terry. It was satisfied he used the words “by way of insult” and found his defense “improbable, implausible and contrived.”

The panel added that “it is accepted by everyone involved in the criminal and disciplinary proceedings that Mr. Terry is not a racist.”

“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,” Terry said today. “My response was below the level expected by Chelsea Football Club, and by me, and it will not happen again.”

He pledged to “continue to do my part in assisting the club to remove all types of discriminatory behavior from football.”

Chelsea said Terry made the correct decision by not appealing.

“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,” the club said on its website.

Wider Effects

The Terry case had wider effects on English soccer, leading to the exit of former national team coach Fabio Capello and the creation of a new code of conduct for team members.

Capello quit as manager in February after the F.A. stripped Terry of the England captaincy. He played at the Euro 2012 tournament before ending his England career a day before the disciplinary hearing started on Sept. 24.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tariq Panja in London at Tpanja@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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