UK & World News
John Terry Found Guilty Of Racial Abuse By FA
Former England captain John Terry has been found guilty by the English Football Association of racially abusing an opponent.
The Chelsea captain has been banned for four domestic matches and fined £220,000, pending an appeal.
He was convicted by an FA hearing of directing abuse at Queen's Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match last October.
The defender denied the charge but the FA independent regulatory commission ruled that he was guilty of misconduct.
The guilty verdict came despite the 31-year-old being cleared by a criminal court in July of a racially-aggravated public order offence.
Terry's representatives, Elite Management, said he was "disappointed" by the verdict, which was "a different conclusion to the clear not guilty verdict of a court of law".
They added he will ask for detailed written reasons of the decision before deciding whether to lodge an appeal.
Former executive director of the FA David Davies told Sky News the verdict was "sad" but "not totally unexpected".
He said he thought Terry would appeal "because he is a fighter and he will think this is wrong".
"John Terry has been a battler through his career. Whatever you think of this incident... the reality is as a player he has given his all to England and Chelsea over the years and that's in his nature," he said.
Author and critic Diran Adebayo welcomed the FA's decision. "I'm pleased this has been exposed. In modern Britain you should not be able to get away with saying these things," he told Sky News.
Before the hearing, at Wembley, started this week, Terry announced his retirement from international football.
The player was found not guilty in Westminster Magistrates Court in July of a racially-aggravated public order offence with the prosecution unable to prove the words he said to Ferdinand were being used as an insult.
Terry admitted using them, but insisted he had only been repeating words he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying.
Chelsea and England team-mate Ashley Cole gave evidence that helped exonerate Terry, telling the court: "We shouldn't be sitting here".
Terry's legal team had argued the governing body's own rules dictated that his acquittal in court meant the case could not proceed but the FA believed their charge was distinct from the court's.
The panel, who handed Liverpool striker Luis Suarez an eight-match ban when they found him guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra last season, declared at that time that simply using racist language was enough to constitute a breach of FA rules.
In a statement Chelsea said: "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."
Terry is likely to be available to play in the Premier League match against Arsenal on Saturday as the ban does not start until after the appeals process has been completed.
He will have 14 days after receiving the written reasons for the decision in which to appeal. If he does make a challenge the appeal hearing may not take place until the end of next month.
That could see the Chelsea talisman still being available for the club's other league matches in October against Norwich, Tottenham and Manchester United.