Powar blasts FA over Terry case

Blackpool Citizen: England manager Roy Hodgson, left, has been criticised by FARE for his comments about John Terry England manager Roy Hodgson, left, has been criticised by FARE for his comments about John Terry

The Football Association has been strongly criticised by the head of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network for their handling of the John Terry racial abuse case.

The Chelsea captain has accepted a four-match ban from the FA for racially abusing QPR defender Ferdinand in October last year. It is the second high-profile case in the English game in recent months, with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez banned for eight matches last season for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

Piara Powar, executive director of FARE, said: "What the FA did with Suarez was absolutely the right way to deal with the situation but with Terry it took too long, the punishment was inconsistent with the Suarez sanction and the mess included inappropriate statements from the England head coach, who basically seemed to support him."

He added: "That went without comment or sanction by the FA. To have their most high-profile employee getting involved in such a significant and important issue as this was wrong."

Powar said he understood why Reading striker Jason Roberts is refusing to wear a Kick It Out T-shirt during the anti-racism campaign group's current week of action but said the player's anger should be directed at the FA and not Kick It Out.

"The whole situation has highlighted how English football has been tackling racism for a long time, but a lot of it has felt like lip service," he added.

"Football needs to learn lessons from this past year but I have not heard of any wide-ranging review of how can we deal with this better, and how to give support to people who have felt the game is not doing enough to heed their needs, who have borne the brunt of this.

"On the one hand the FA is giving support to the young players racially abused in Serbia, and rightly so, but what about when it happens at home and the perpetrator is the England captain?"

Powar was also critical of the Premier League's lack of response, saying: "Questions also have to be asked of the Premier League, as representatives of the employers' group, their silence has been deafening on this issue."

In a statement, FA chairman David Bernstein said: "The damage of this affair is not irreparable, but as events this week have shown there are still many lessons to be learnt in the wider fight against racial abuse and discrimination of all types. Domestically the FA has ultimate responsibility for the leadership of the game at every level and I, personally, remain determined to lead English football in this fight."

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