Roberto Di Matteo has refused to confirm whether John Terry remains the club captain at Chelsea following the defender's racial abuse charge.
Terry was banned for four matches and fined £220,000 after an independent Football Association regulatory commission found him guilty of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
The former England defender accepted the sanction yesterday and issued an apology for the language he used in the match at Loftus Road on October 23 last year.
Chelsea have also taken internal disciplinary action against Terry, which is understood to have been a fine, but the details are being kept confidential.
Terry is understood to have been told he will continue as Chelsea captain - but Di Matteo would not make that decision public on Friday.
"It has certainly put a cloud over the image of the club," Di Matteo said.
"We have done many good things as well and it is a shame we cannot talk more about football, which is our priority.
"We do not discuss publicly the disciplinary matters we take against our players. They remain confidential. You will have to wait and see (whether he is captain).
"They are internal matters, the action we take against our players and we are not going to discuss it."
Terry's Barclays Premier League ban begins on Saturday, when Chelsea face Tottenham, but he is available for the Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.
Asked whether it was suitable for Terry to remain captain in the circumstances, Di Matteo said: "Over the many years he has been here he has shown a lot of qualities.
"He has realised that on that day he fell below his standards and the club's standards. For that he has received a ban and a fine and more action from the club.
"He is being punished for what he has said. We have all made mistakes in our life before."
Chelsea have come under fire from Lord Herman Ouseley, chairman of football's equality group Kick It Out, for keeping the details of Terry's punishment secret.
The club have also been accused of double standards after a supporter was banned from Stamford Bridge for life for racially abusing former Blues striker Didier Drogba.
Di Matteo insisted the action being taken against Terry was "appropriate" before a Chelsea spokesman, sitting alongside him, explained there was no contradiction.
"Every situation is dealt with according to the circumstances," the spokesman said.
"People have highlighted a particular case of a supporter who is getting a lifetime ban for racist abuse of Didier Drogba.
"He received the lifetime ban because he was successfully prosecuted in court as a result of a criminal prosecution.
"Similarly with staff members, Chelsea's policy is they would go through a disciplinary process on a case-by-case basis.
"We recognise and appreciate people will want to know (details of the disciplinary action against Terry).
"But it is our right as an organisation with the disciplinary process we have, it is a personnel matter, it is an HR (human resources) matter, and many organisations deal with it in the same way and we feel that dealing with it as a confidential matter is the way we should continue to go forward."
Terry, 31, was cleared of a racially-aggravated public order offence at Westminster Magistrates' Court in July.
Di Matteo confirmed internal disciplinary action was also being taken against Ashley Cole, who was on Thursday fined £90,000 for an offensive tweet aimed at the FA.
"We encourage players to use social media, obviously within the boundaries and within the responsibilities that brings," Di Matteo said.
"He (Cole) is getting fined by the FA. There is a disciplinary process against Ashley as well from the club."
Di Matteo also confirmed that all Chelsea players will wear Kick It Out t-shirts, but that will not be on Saturday as the day at White Hart Lane has been set aside to support Children in Need.
Reading striker Jason Roberts said on Thursday he would refuse to wear the shirt in protest at what he feels is the group's lack of action against recent incidents of racism in the English game.
"We strongly support the Kick It Out campaign. All our players are very supportive of that. Every player will wear it," said Di Matteo, who did not want to comment on Roberts' decision.
"It (racism) is a wider problem than just football, it is a society problem we are discussing and we all need to do more to respect each other and to educate everyone to respect other ethnic groups.
"It is a problem not just for football but for society."
Asked whether he feels UEFA is doing enough to stamp out racism in football, in the wake of the Serbia v England Under-21 match, Di Matteo said: "UEFA is working towards it, the FA in England is working towards it.
"We are all trying to do our duties to educate and eradicate these problems. It is not just a football issue."
But Di Matteo questioned whether fines are the most appropriate way of punishing players.
"You hurt people when you fine them. It is a deeper issue. I am not sure with a fine you are going to eradicate their behaviour," Di Matteo said.
what do you think?
As long as John takes the field, he will always be Captain, no matter who hands the pennants over. Capello and Hodgson knew that, as do most sane Individuals :)