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Terry verdict could come on Thursday

27 Sep 2012 07:47:36

Terry verdict could come on Thursday

The verdict from John Terry's disciplinary hearing into a charge the Chelsea skipper used racist language on the pitch could come as soon as Thursday.

Terry will return to Wembley Stadium for a fourth day before a Football Association independent regulatory panel and it is likely to be the final one of the hearing.

The 31-year-old spent eight hours on Wednesday at the hearing at Wembley Stadium, where he denies a charge that he used a racist slur towards QPR's Anton Ferdinand in October last year.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra a year ago, but was found to have done so on a number of occasions during the match.

Terry is accused of a single utterance towards Ferdinand, which has led to some speculation that if found guilty the Chelsea player would be more likely to receive a four-match ban. However, close analysis of the full reasons behind Suarez's ban shows that Terry could easily face a similar-length ban if found guilty.

In Suarez's case, the FA argued for an increased sanction "to ensure that it is widely understood that the FA deprecates and will not accept racist behaviour. In other words, a deterrent sanction is called for".

The FA also pointed out that "Mr Suarez is an international footballer of exceptional ability, playing for one of the best-known clubs in the world. His position carries with it a particular degree of responsibility. His conduct amounts to a serious breach of that responsibility".

Both of those criteria apply to Terry - particularly given that he was England captain at the time of the incident.

Terry and his advisors are hoping that he will be completely exonerated - and if he is not an appeal looks almost certain to be lodged because it is understood the FA would not regard such an action as frivolous.

Terry was found not guilty in a magistrates' court in July of a racially-motivated public order offence with the prosecution unable to prove he had called Ferdinand a "f****** black c***" as an insult. Terry admitted using the words, but insisted he had only been repeating words he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying.


PA

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