English Premiership

Terry fighting for career

2011-12-22 09:08
John Terry (File)
London - England football captain John Terry faces the "battle of his life" after prosecutors said he would face criminal charges over claims he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, Britain's press said on Thursday.

Wednesday's announcement, which came a day after Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, proves, however, that British football is taking a lead in dealing with racism, Fleet Street agreed.

"In the age of the celebrity footballer, few players have commanded more coverage... than John Terry," said the Independent's Sam Wallace.

"But the charges laid against him yesterday by the Crown Prosecution Service represent the battle of his life."

All newspapers were in agreement that Terry would never captain England again if found guilty, and Wallace also suggested it would dash his long-term dream of managing Chelsea, his domestic club.

Popular tabloid The Sun said the ruling was a "nightmare" for the Football Association (FA), particularly if the matter is adjourned when Terry appears in court on February 1, four weeks before England play the Netherlands in a friendly match.

In that event, the paper's chief football writer Shaun Custis called on Terry to "do the decent thing and step aside".

"There need be no presumption of guilt," he added. "It would simply be best for the national game."

The Times editorial said the action taken over Terry and Suarez had sent "a very clear message that racism where proven will not be tolerated in British football".

"Certainly compared with the appalling treatment that black players often receive in Italy and some of the Eastern European countries, England is a civilised place to play," it added.

The Guardian also ran a positive editorial, arguing that the attention given to the two cases showed how far the game had come but that Liverpool and Chelsea should have been more cautious in lending their blanket support to the two players.

"Absolutely no one believes that racism is a more common scourge in English football today than it was a generation ago," it said.

"English football has worked hard to combat racism. But all that good work can be undone by one shortsighted act," it added.

"Neither Liverpool nor Chelsea are therefore right to say that they will support their players, whatever the outcome."

The two incidents also highlighted the "complex and contradictory history of racism in English football", Times chief sports writer Simon Barnes argued.

Throughout their history, English football grounds have been "breeding grounds for pestilence" and "places where racial hatred could be hymned to the skies without restraint or rebuke," he wrote.

However, at the same time the game helped lower racial tensions across the whole country and created taboos which were later adopted in all walks of society, he added.

"Racial insults were once routine: now they're so shocking that the England captain must go to court."

Read more on:    epl  |  john terry

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

23 October 2016
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Manchester United, Stamford Bridge 17:00
29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.