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Friday, September 28, 2012
John Terry due to play Saturday

ESPN.com news services

John Terry's four-match ban will not take immediate effect, and he is expected to play for Chelsea against Arsenal on Saturday (7:45 a.m. ET, ESPN2) while he awaits the English Football Association's written report for his guilty verdict in his racial abuse trial of QPR's Anton Ferdinand.

On Friday, Ferdinand gave his first response to Terry's verdict via Twitter.

"On a serious note, people need 2 read the facts before they send stupid tweets 2 me with liar and grass in it. Footage don't lie," he tweeted.

Terry was cleared in July by Westminster Magistrates Court of uttering the words as an insult, but that did not prevent him being found guilty of a similar charge under FA rules Thursday.

Once the FA report is released, the 31-year-old Terry has 14 days to appeal the ban and $356,000 fine, during which time he can also see action on the pitch, according to the FA ruling.

Terry, who always has denied all charges against him, was still deciding Friday whether to appeal that verdict.

"The penalty is suspended until after the outcome of any appeal, or the time for appealing expires, or should Mr. Terry decide not to appeal," the FA statement said.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo would not discuss the Terry verdict Friday because of the pending appeal process, but said Terry trained early on Friday and is available to play against Arsenal. If Terry plays he will be captain, the BBC reported.

"He trained well today, as hard as always," Di Matteo said. "He's an experienced player who has played many difficult games before, in difficult circumstances and environments. If selected, I don't think there will be a problem."

Di Matteo also shrugged off what the outside world might think of Chelsea in the wake of the Terry verdict.

"We don't really care too much the way the outside environment sees us," he said. "We have to focus on our strength. That's the way we operate."

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who saw Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez end their own feud at Anfield on Sunday, said Terry should think carefully before appealing.

"There is a danger of it resurrecting itself because it has been going on so long," said Ferguson. "But the fact he got a four-game ban, he may consider that is quite lenient considering Luis Suarez got eight. It is time to move on and so should the game."

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew called for the FA to make the penalties for racism even more severe.

"I am not party to all the information, but the games, the fine -- you do want to see consistency in that area," Pardew said. "That's something that I think needs to be looked at, and I hope the FA do that going forward because if it does happen again, it should be a severe fine if somebody is guilty."

About Terry's punishment,

Pardew said: "I think perhaps there needs to be some sort of explanation from the FA as to why - that would make sense. You can't just wash it away or bury your head in the sand about it. You have got to deal with it. Show Racism the Red Card and those groups need to stay on their toes and make sure we eradicate it."

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said the FA has taken too long to reach a decision.

"We have to work out a way of doing these things earlier," Scudamore told the Daily Telegraph. "It would have been much better for everybody, whether the outcome is positive or negative, if it was done quickly.

"If the argument is that these (charges) are completely separate, irrespective of what the courts decide, if football's test is different, why can't we decide (the outcome) if it is a completely different test?"

Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho defended Terry on Friday.

"He's not a racist -- that's 100 percent," Mourinho told CNN. "We had a squad where we had 12 African players in the squad. It was a fantastic squad and he always had a great relationship with every one of them.

"But in football it can happen during a match, because football sometimes is more than a game and sometimes you have reactions that don't represent what you are really," said Mourinho, who now manages La Liga champion Real Madrid.

"Probably he had a racist comment or attitude against an opponent. Sometimes in football we do things the wrong way. If he had that reaction he should pay, but please don't say he's a racist. (Didier) Drogba, (Claude) Makelele ... all of them will say he's not a racist.

"I never felt (racism) in my dressing room. And I have always had African players in every one of my teams."

Players' chief Gordon Taylor also criticized the FA for the long delay in its decision.

"Almost 12 months on and the John Terry case was still not heard by the FA until the day after Luis Suarez shook hands with Patrice Evra at Anfield," said Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association.

"Such a delay has allowed the matter to fester and cause divisions in the football family which will take a long time to heal, if they ever do.

"There should be equitable recruitment processes, and a fast-track disciplinary process that does not allow for delays or holding off at the request of the Crown Prosecution Service."

The FA had delayed its own disciplinary hearing until after the magistrates court case -- where Terry was acquitted -- at the request of the CPS.

The Chelsea captain could also play in other Barclays Premier League matches in October against Norwich, Tottenham and Manchester United.

The written reasons will provide the explanation for the difference in length of ban compared to Liverpool's Suarez, who served an eight-match suspension for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

Suarez was also fined around a week's wages, in his case £40,000 ($64,900).

In advance of the hearing, Terry confirmed he was quitting the England squad because he felt his position was "untenable."

"I know that John loved playing for England," Di Matteo said. "It was his childhood dream. It was a very difficult decision for him to take. When he wants to discuss the reasons, I'll leave that to him."

Terry's absence has raised the spectre of Rio Ferdinand being recalled to bolster Roy Hodgson's central defensive options.

Ferguson said he has not spoken to Ferdinand about the situation, but he does not view an England recall as likely.

"I wouldn't think he will get called up," said Ferguson.

"Roy Hodgson made his decision before the European Championships and I can't see him changing that. It would be difficult for him now to go back to Rio Ferdinand and welcome him back."

Information from Press Association was used in this report.




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