Kamis, 04 Oktober 2012

Anton speaks out after Terry ban

Ferdinand: Has his say after Terry verdict

Ferdinand hit out at abuse he claimed to have received on Twitter since Terry was handed a four-match ban and 220,000 fine by an independent Football Association panel over the pair's altercation almost a year ago.

The QPR defender posted on the social network site this morning: "On a serious note people need 2 read the facts before they send stupid tweets 2 me with liar and grass in it footage don't lie!"

Ferdinand's tweet appeared to refer to the now-infamous YouTube video that showed Chelsea captain Terry using the words "f****** black c***" towards him during last October's west London derby at Loftus Road.

Terry was cleared in July by Westminster Magistrates Court of uttering the words as an insult, but that did not prevent him being found guilty of a similar charge under FA rules yesterday.

Terry, who has always denied all charges against him, was still deciding today whether to appeal that verdict.

For that reason, Chelsea ref used to answer questions on yesterday's outcome at their press conference this afternoon to preview tomorrow's Barclays Premier League game at Arsenal.

That did not prevent manager Roberto Di Matteo being quizzed on the subject but head of communications Steve Atkins repeatedly interjected, most notably when the Italian was asked about the club's policy on players found guilty of using racist language.

Chelsea are renowned for their zero-tolerance approach to racism among their own fans.

Di Matteo was allowed to confirm Terry was fit and available for tomorrow's match and would continue to captain the club if picked.

He revealed Terry had trained today and yesterday, that he had spoken to the 31-year-old, and that he had no fear about the player's mental state or how he would react to abuse he might suffer tomorrow and beyond.

"He trained well today, as hard as always," Di Matteo said.

"He's an experienced player who has played many difficult games before, in difficult circumstances and environments.

"If selected, I don't think there will be a problem."

Di Matteo felt the same about the possibility of disharmony among Terry's team-mates following yesterday's verdict, saying: "Well, there isn't any, no, as far as I know and as far as I can see."

Terry's career has been one of defiance in the face of adversity but asked whether this was his biggest test, Di Matteo said: "He still has many years to play to come. I don't know what the future will hold.

"He likes to focus on the football, and that's all I have to be concerned about."

Di Matteo also shrugged off what the outside world might think of Chelsea in the wake of the Terry verdict.

"We don't really care too much the way the outside environment sees us," he said.

"We have to focus on our strength. That's the way we operate."

Terry quit England on the eve of this week's hearing, accusing the FA of making his position "untenable".

Di Matteo said: "I know that John loved playing for England. It was his childhood dream. It was a very difficult decision for him to take.

"When he wants to discuss the reasons, I'll leave that to him."

He added: "It certainly increases the chance to play a bit longer when you don't play internationally."

Di Matteo did admit he felt the case had dragged on for too long, saying: "Everybody would've like it to be a bit quicker."

Former Chelsea star Clive Walker also hit out at the "ridiculous" delay but suggested Terry might ultimately decide his punishment was "probably about fair".

"John Terry probably guessed that he was going to get something - he just probably didn't know how much," Walker told talkSPORT.

"Looking at it, he'd probably say that's probably about fair.

"Does he want to pursue this? Does he want to push it on? Does he want to let sleeping dogs lie and just say, 'Okay, I' ll take the punishment and move on'?"

Former FA executive director David Davies said: "I was expecting that the ban would be longer.

"Knowing JT as I have been lucky enough to do, his instincts for sure will be to appeal.

"He will be hurt by this decision even if, in his heart of hearts, I don't think he will be surprised."

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