Terry Suarez inconsistency needs explanation from FA
Published: 02.10.12 / Written by: David Gold
The FA´s decision to ban John Terry for four matches for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand was expected for most of the week.
They hardly ever lose a prosecution case, after all. But the big question was why if he was found guilty, was the Chelsea man given a lighter sentence than Luis Suarez last year? It is the obvious question but there is a clear double standard at play.
Suarez was found guilty of using racist language too, towards Patrice Evra when Liverpool faced Manchester United a year ago. On that occasion, Suarez denied racially abusing Evra, insisting that in his homeland the word ‘negro’ does not have the same racial connotations that it does in England. As it goes, it is a far more convincing explanation that Terry’s ‘I was merely repeating what I thought he had said I called him’. Particularly when Ferdinand only became aware of the words Terry used after the match.
So how does the Liverpool man deserve a suspension double the length of Terry? Liverpool and Suarez were vilified last year for playing the victim card but there is an element that can be understood in their argument, particularly now. Suarez was always deserving of punishment for the simple crime of using racist language towards an opponent. But eight matches?
Now Terry has been given four, the FA have serious questions to answer. How can they justify handing out such a long suspension by comparison to a non English player when they treat the ex England captain favourably with no obvious reason? Racism is racism, is it not?
The situation’s farcical nature was best summed up by Joey Barton last night. Rarely the voice of wisdom and reason, it is quite a statement when Barton starts to sound the sensible party. Yet there was something eminently ridiculous, as the Marseille man said, about him receiving a 12 match ban for violent conduct, disgraceful as his behaviour was, compared to a four match ban for racism. Whilst what Barton did was shameful, no-one was put at risk of serious injury, he just lost his temper. Not quite as bad as racially abusing an opponent.
This is why the FA must now come out and explain convincingly why Terry is being given such a seemingly lenient sentence for his crime. The player too, should not appeal, though he probably will. His consistent playing of the victim card is nauseating. Even if he believes he is not guilty of racial abuse, he must recognise that he has admitted using racist words, and that that constitutes a punishable offence according to FA rules made clear by the Suarez case. Terry used his legal defence that he was uttering words he thought Ferdinand had accused him of aiming in his direction to get off of his court conviction. That is basically an admission of guilt by the FA’s rules. Terry trying to squirm out of it is an attempt to have his legal cake and eat it too.
As it is, he should be thankful he has been given such lenient treatment by the FA once they found him guilty.