Football Association criticised over John Terry case

John Terry and Anton Ferdinand
© PA Photos
Piara Powar, head of Football Against Racism in Europe, criticises the FA's handling of the John Terry racism case.

The Football Association have been criticised for their handling of the John Terry racism case by the head of Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE).

Terry was fined £220,000 and banned for four matches after allegedly abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand, a more lenient sanction than that imposed on Liverpool striker Luis Suarez for a similar offence.

Piara Powar, executive director of FARE, believes that the case sums up the way racism in football has been tackled by the English authorities for a while.

"What the FA did with Suarez was absolutely the right way to deal with the situation but with Terry it took too long, the punishment was inconsistent with the Suarez sanction and the mess included inappropriate statements from the England head coach, who basically seemed to support him," said Powar.

"That went without comment or sanction by the FA. To have their most high-profile employee getting involved in such a significant and important issue as this was wrong. The whole situation has highlighted how English football has been tackling racism for a long time, but a lot of it has felt like lip service.

"Football needs to learn lessons from this past year but I have not heard of any wide-ranging review of how can we deal with this better, and how to give support to people who have felt the game is not doing enough to heed their needs, who have borne the brunt of this. On the one hand the FA is giving support to the young players racially abused in Serbia, and rightly so, but what about when it happens at home and the perpetrator is the England captain?"

Terry yesterday accepted his punishment and apologised for the language that he used.

Roberto Di Matteo
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