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FA disciplinary panel set to meet as Terry v Ferdinand round 2 underway

Football News 24/7
One thing for sure is that whatever the result of the FA Disciplinary panel looking into the John Terry race row is, football will be the loser.

The FA made its announcement to hold an inquiry almost immediately after Terry was cleared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court court of committing a racially aggravated public order offence back in June following an incident between Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers.

The England and Chelsea defender was acquitted of calling Ferdinand a "f------ black c---" during a Premier League Game on October 23 last year. But the FA have always insisted that despite being cleared of any crminal wrong doing Terry may well have breached FA Rules.

If the four man independent FA Panel finds against Terry after what is expected to be a two day hearing, a ban looks a foregone conclusion. The hearing, to be held at a secret London address to keep the media at bay will interview both Terry and Ferdinand along with other players and officials.

Despite a strong legal defence team, Terry may well be up against it if a strict interpretation of FA rules is imposed. Luis Suarez was banned for 13 games last season for calling Manchester United's Patrice Evra 'negrito' or 'little black' and simply using racisist language, whatever the context is an offence in itself under FA rules.

Whereas the court test is 'beyond reasonable doubt', the FA Panel deal in terms of 'balance of probability' which is a far less onerous test. The panel look set to determine whether the words used towards Ferdinand were abusive or insulting.

According to today's Mail on Sunday,'Terry's legal team argue that his words to Ferdinand were not insulting as they formed part of a genuine question.'

If Terry is banned for any length of time, he will miss England's next Wolrd Cup qualifiers for certain as Roy Hodgson the England boss will be under pressure to drop his skipper.

If Terry is exonerated by the FA Panel, there will be those who believe racisim has won the day and whatever the verdict it seems unlikely to be a satisfactory one for everyone.

LK

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