Saturday, 14 July 2012 16:37
SYED FAHAD AHMED
KARACHI: John Terry who was accused of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers Defender Anton Ferdinand has been cleared by the Westminster Magistrates Court.
After the proceedings which ran nearly a week, the Former England Captain was found ‘not guilty’ of a racially aggravated offence.
Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said in his judgment, "It is highly unlikely that Mr. Ferdinand accused Mr. Terry on the pitch of calling him a black (expletive)."
“It is therefore possible that what he said was not intended as an insult, but rather as a challenge to what he believed had been said to him. In those circumstances, there being a doubt, the only verdict the court can record is one of not guilty,” he added.
As the verdict was being read in favor of the Chelsea defender, his supporters outside started to cheer. However, Terry showed no emotions against the ruling and left the court room quickly, and without comment.
Though the court has passed its verdict, the dark clouds over the game are yet to pass, as the Football Association (FA) has now opted to re-open its own inquiry which could see bans for both players.
The FA, whose lawyer attended everyday of the trial, said they would look at the findings of the court case before deciding whether or not to bring any charges against Terry and Ferdinand.
In a brief statement an FA Spokesman said, “The FA notes the decision in the John Terry case and will now seek to conclude its own enquiries.”
Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers' Association Gordon Taylor said, “It has been an unedifying process and the game has been damaged as a result of the dirty linen being washed in public.”
It should be mentioned that charges can still be brought by the FA against Terry even though he was declared ‘not guilty’ by the court, because they have a lower burden of proof. An example of such, is the banning of Liverpool's Luis Suarez who racially abused Patrice Evra whose case never went to court. Whereas, Ferdinand could be charged with bringing the game into disrepute for his comments during the exchange.