Only a Game? - Why the F.A. should punish John Terry

Chelsea's caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo, left, and player John Terry during a press conference at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Chelsea will play Napoli at the stadium on Wednesday, in a Champions League second leg soccer match. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Chelsea's caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo, left, and player John Terry during a press conference at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Chelsea will play Napoli at the stadium on Wednesday, in a Champions League second leg soccer match. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

So, it’s official, John Terry is not a racist. Terry was cleared of all charges brought against him after it was alleged that he racially abused Q.P.R. defender Anton Ferdinand during a game of football last season.

It’s shocking to think that Terry could get away completely with uttering such terrible words. The 31 year-old England defender says that the reason he said the words was because he was repeating what Ferdinand had said back to him.

It’s semantics gone mad and if the English F.A. have an ounce of decency they will make sure that Chelsea defender Terry feels the full weight of their sanctions.

When Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was adjudged to have racially insulted Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, he was fined £40,000 and banned for eight games. The Suarez-Evra incident never went to court.

Despite the fact that Derry has been found not guilty the F.A. can still punish the player for using the words. It’s as simple as this, the F.A. can challenge Terry on the balance of probability but will they? We’ll have to wait and see.

There’s no doubting Terry’s innocence as far as the courts are concerned but one thing is for certain, the image of football in England has been well and truly damaged.

Terry has acted with impunity for far too long and has left a trail of hurt, betrayal and destruction in his path.

A few years ago it was alleged that he was having an affair with the girlfriend of a former team mate and he is also alleged to have take money in return for a guided tour of Chelsea’s training ground.

I don’t know John Terry at all and there’s every possibility that he might be a really nice man but on the balance of probability I think I’ll remain sceptical.

I watched last week’s Wimbledon Men’s Singles final between Roger Federer and Andy Murray. And whilst it was great to see Federer win a seventh Wimbledon title it was almost equally as moving to watch Andy Murray emotionally address the crowd.

Football is lacking the humility and class of sports like tennis, golf and rugby.

Sports personalities like Andy Murray don’t grab the headlines with their off the court antics. Instead they let their skill and prowess do the talking.

Football fans and the media are to blame for putting players like Terry et al up on pedestals. Terry and many other English players like him have brought the game into disrepute for far too long and it’s about time that the English F.A. called time on their antics and demand that they start behaving like civilised members of the human race.

John Terry may have been found not guilty but as long as his actions go unpunished he will continue to behave in the distasteful manner of which we have become so accustomed.

The F.A. must act and act swiftly otherwise the moment will be lost.