LONDON, England September 28 – Former England manager Graham Taylor has urged Chelsea captain John Terry to accept a four-match ban for racial abuse and bring an end to a controversy that has bedevilled English football for nearly a year.
An FA statement said an independent regulatory commission had issued a suspension for a period of four matches and a fine of £220,000 ($356,722, 276,000 euros) pending appeal.
Terry has 14 days from receiving the written reasons for the decision to lodge an appeal against a decision relating to an incident that took place during Chelsea’s match away to QPR at Loftus Road on October 23 last year.
The ban — which comes after the 31-year-old former England captain was acquitted of criminal charges relating to the same incident in July — will not come into force until the appeals procedure is complete.
That means central defender Terry, who played in the 6-0 English League Cup rout of Wolves on Tuesday, is available for Chelsea’s Premier League match away to London rivals Arsenal on Saturday.
Taylor cautioned against an appeal, telling Sky Sports: “Having sat on these panels and made judgements myself I know those people will have come to their conclusion in an honest and proper manner — they will have had legal advice.
“Whether John and Chelsea accept is it up to them, but I think it might be in everyone’s interest to put it to bed.”
Meanwhile Herman Ouseley, chairman of the Kick It Out organisation that aims to eradicate racism from football, told BBC Radio Five: “This is not about recriminations. It’s about how football moves forward from here after it has spent 11 months going through the wringer.”
Earlier, Terry’s representatives said he was “disappointed” by the decision and would consider his position before deciding whether to appeal.
Their statement said: “Mr Terry is disappointed that the FA Regulatory Commission has reached a different conclusion to the clear not guilty verdict of a court of law.
“He has asked for the detailed written reasons of the decision and will consider them carefully before deciding whether to lodge an appeal.”
European champions Chelsea responded to Thursday’s verdict by saying: “Chelsea Football Club notes and respects today’s decision by the Football Association regarding John Terry.
“We also recognise that John has the right to appeal that decision. It is therefore inappropriate for us to comment further on the matter at this time.”
The FA’s statement said they had charged Terry on Friday, July 27, with using “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Queens Park Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand and which included a reference to colour and/or race contrary to FA Rule E3 (2)”
Terry dramatically announced his retirement from international football on Sunday, the day before the four-day hearing started, saying the FA had made his position with England “untenable” by pursuing the disciplinary case against him despite his courtroom acquittal.
England manager Roy Hodgson, who included Terry in his squad for Euro 2012, had been keen for the 78-times capped defender to continue his international career as the team try to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
“I am of course disappointed to lose a player of John’s international experience and exceptional ability,” Hodgson said Monday.
Terry had hoped his courtroom acquittal would be the end of the matter, as the FA’s rule book states that the result of any previous legal action concerning the same matter will be “presumed to be correct”.
He admitted in court he used racist language against Ferdinand but said he was merely repeating what he believed Ferdinand had accused him of saying.
But the panel who gave Liverpool striker Luis Suarez an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra last season, said just using racist language was enough to constitute a breach of FA rules.