Football: John Terry's defence that he had not racially abused Anton Ferdinand was dismissed today as “improbable, implausible and contrived” by the commission which banned him for four matches.
The Chelsea skipper’s claim that he had merely repeated the words “f***ing black c***” because he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying it had “no credible basis,” the independent Football Association regulatory commission added.
Publishing their full written reasons for Terry’s punishment, the commission said they were satisfied that the player’s words had been intended as an insult. Terry has two weeks in which to appeal.
His club team-mate Ashley Cole may be in hot water with the FA after tweeting his response to the publication of the 63-page ruling, which cast doubt on the left-back’s evidence, saying it evolved over time.
Yesterday afternoon, he wrote: “Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFTWATS.”
Cole, who has 98 caps for England and was named in Thursday in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland, apologised within hours.
“I had just finished training and saw the captions on the TV screens in the treatment rooms about what was said in the FA commission ruling about me,” he said.
“I was really upset and tweeted my feelings in the heat of the moment. I apologise unreservedly for my comment about the FA.”
Hodgson is believed to have spoken to Cole over the phone yesterday afternoon and the defender is expected to report for duty along with the rest of the squad on Monday.
On Terry, the commission stated: “There are further aspects of Mr Terry’s defence that the commission finds improbable, implausible and contrived, and which serve to underline and reinforce our decision.
“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 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.
“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.”
However the commission added that it was clear from a number of character references that “Mr Terry is not a racist.”
On Cole, the commission found that there were discrepancies in the player 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.
Terry has 14 days to appeal. With that in mind, Terry’s club Chelsea would not comment on the contents of the written reasons.
A Chelsea spokesman said: “As we said last week we recognise that John has the right to appeal.
“In view of this it would be inappropriate for us to comment further on the matter at this time.”
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.