So, John Terry has been found guilty by the English Football Association (FA) for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. But, having been found guilty, the FA have given him the extraordinarily lenient punishment of a 4 match ban and a fine of £220,000. Given that John Terry apparently earns some £140,000 a week, this amounts to 10 days’ wages.
I am astounded and saddened that the FA has been so easy on John Terry. In my opinion, he should have faced a lengthy ban, 8 matches or more. A life ban would have been justified in my opinion, but was never going to happen. Contrast Terry’s punishment with the one given to Luis Suarez last year for using the “n” word against Patrick Evra. Suarez received an 8 match ban. And Joey Barton recently received a 12 match ban for persistent violent behaviour on the football field.
What sort of message does this send out about the FA’s commitment to the “kick it out” campaign to rid football of racial abuse? A very weak message I would say. In fact, it leaves the campaign in tatters in the view of many people. I am ashamed to call myself a Chelsea supporter. Chelsea would be, of course, perfectly within their rights to sack John Terry for gross professional misconduct, but that isn’t going to happen. Quite the contrary it would seem, Chelsea have been supportive of their player throughout these proceedings. Terry will undoubtedly receive some offensive chants from opposing fans when Chelsea play their away games, but as he seems to have the skin of a rhinoceros I doubt this will affect him much.
The FA really had a chance to take a proper stance against racism within football and within wider society. They have sadly failed to do so with this token punishment.