Today John Terry retired from International football. I don’t know what I think about it just yet in regards to whether it is a good or a bad decision on his part, but I don’t think that anyone can really be too shocked by his choice.
The Chelsea captain earned 78 caps and captained the side 32 times. One way or another you can only imagine that John’s international career would have been done and dusted.
Here’s his statement:
‘I feel the FA, in pursuing charges against me where I have already been cleared in a court of law, have made my position with the national team untenable. Representing and captaining my country is what I dreamed of as a boy and it has been a truly great honour. I have always given my all and it breaks my heart to make this decision. I wish Roy and the team every success for the future.
“I now look forward to playing for Chelsea and challenging for domestic and European honours, and I want to thank the fans and the club for their continued support.
“I would like to thank the England managers who have selected me for my 78 caps. I have had great pleasure in sharing that honour with all the players that I’ve played with.
“I would like to thank them, the fans and my family for their support and encouragement during my international career.”
But with the hearing starting and possibly ending on Monday why would JT resign at all? It’s very simple – Rule 6.8:
‘Where the subject matter of a complaint or matter before the Regulatory Commission has been the subject of previous civil or criminal proceedings, the result of such proceedings and the facts and matters upon which such result is based shall be presumed to be correct and the facts presumed to be true unless it is shown, by clear and convincing evidence, that this is not the case.’
Terry’s legal team tried to get the charge dismissed on these grounds and the FA rejected the claim, so why are the FA still gunning for JT? Well, the FA tacked something onto the charge investigated by the police and CPS, so he’ll also be charged with “reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Ferdinand.” So even mentioning a player’s colour in any context is deemed inappropriate and merits disciplinary action and we know he said “black” – it’s on tape and context is irrelevant according to the letter of the charge.
The bottom line is that the FA cannot afford to lose this one so they rigged the charges. They need to right the ship and prove the board’s actions justified and correct after Fabio Capello resigned for the stripping of JT’s captaincy without his consent, and if they have to rewrite or ignore their own rules to be able to say they were right, they will.
This will set precedent for the FA to crack down on any racist behaviour on and off the pitch and that’s why John will be found guilty next week and you know he will. Why, you ask? In 2011 they held 473 disciplinary cases. Of those 471 were found guilty and punished. With a kangaroo court system like that and the previous eagerness of the FA to act without proof against Mr. Terry you know there will be a chance for Gary Cahill to get a few starts under his belt. Suarez got seven games – how many will our Captain get? I’m going to say ten.
John has lost all faith in the FA and no one can blame him for it. Monday’s hearing will be a formality and we’ll miss John on the pitch at Stamford Bridge for the short term, but we’ll miss him wearing three lions forever. At least with this preemptive act they can’t take his international career away from him, right?
But remember this, John is not entirely blameless in this. He has made more than his fair share of blunders on and off the pitch and his premature retirement, as sad as I am to see it, does not lie squarely on the shoulders of the FA. He has to stand up and take his own fair share of accountability for his actions, which I am sure he will.
On the bright side, this may well see John leading the Blues for an extra year or two if he manages his injuries properly and rests up a bit during the international breaks.
Next up? If the ban isn’t enforced before it comes around we’ll see Rio Ferdinand ignore the handshake of JT and ACole (or just Ashley if JT is suspended), which is just what we need in today’s game. Will Fergie step and force Rio to do the right thing and get this all behind us like he tried to do with Man Utd’s biggest rival, or will he let it slide? We won’t find out until a few days before the game in all likelihood, but what we can be sure of is that, as always, every Chelsea player will be respecting the ritual and the opposition on the pitch by extending their hands in the cause of extinguishing racism from the beautiful game.