1. Ashley Cole, a star of the English national team, tweeted this out today, in reference to the ruling to ban John Terry, who Cole defended in testimony to the Football Association.
The hashtag “fa” refers to the Football Association, which is the governing body for football in England. The FA oversees the game and has particular control over the English national team, and is responsible for doling out punishments to players when needed. This morning, the FA issued a 63-page report on the John Terry racism ruling, after finding the Chelsea and England center back guilty of using a racial slur against Queens Park Rangers player Anton Ferdinand last season and banning him for four games.
The Terry story is a convoluted one, but that speaks to the general insanity that is English football. Terry was brought to court this summer to face criminal charges for the alleged abuse, but was cleared after a lengthy trial in which many players, including Chelsea teammate Ashley Cole, submitted testimony. After the verdict of the criminal trial, the FA decided to levy disciplinary charges against Terry, which resulted in his four-match ban and €276,000 fine. In the report issued this morning, the FA declares that Terry’s defense was “implausible and contrived,” and that Ashley Cole’s testimony “evolved” over time.
Terry is alleged to have called Ferdinand a “fucking black cunt” during a game. According to The Guardian, Cole originally told the FA he “heard the word ‘cunt’ being used in close proximity to a ‘b-word,’” but he didn’t think that Terry said the word “black,” specifically, and that it could have been “bridge.” (Or bologna, or Bastian Schweinsteiger, or books!)
A few days after making the statement to the FA, a Chelsea secretary requested that Cole’s statement be altered to include the word “black,” but the change wasn’t reviewed as new evidence by the Chief Magistrate in the criminal trial — because the FA lost the evidence. Now, The FA, in their ruling to ban Terry now, labels Cole’s dubious change as a chief reason for the guilty verdict.
So, after being effectively labeled a liar, Cole calls the people who run his national team “a bunch of twats,” and doesn’t manage to delete the tweet until it’s been retweeted almost 20,000 times. There now seems to be some real concern in England over whether or not Cole — one of the best fullbacks in the world — may have just flushed his international career down the drain. Lost in the chaos is Ferdinand himself, the victim of the abuse, or any plan to effectively eradicate racism from the game.
In review: A player was racially abused, and that’s a serious crime. The abuser, Terry, got off relatively easily, with the help of some questionable testimony from his teammate, Cole (who has been subject to racial abuse throughout his career, as well). Terry, a former team captain, then retired from international competition after calling his place on the team “untenable” given his relationship with the FA, and now Cole — the lone bright spot in a shoddy England defense — may have just landed himself in the same situation. And the FA bungled their own investigation into what Terry did or did not say.
What happens next with Cole is still unclear, but that shouldn’t be the point in a case about racism. Losing Cole would be a huge blow to the national team, and if anything, would cause many to vilify Ferdinand, who is undeniably the victim of the whole situation. And instead of a conversation about how to end racism in football, the press and fans in England will be talking about how to plug the holes that Terry and Cole (hypothetically) have left, with the next World Cup less than two years away.
Cole has since apologized for a tweet sent “in the heat of the moment,” and for the time being, Cole’s twitter bio still reads “Chelsea FC and England Leftback,” but who knows whether it will remain that way in the coming months. England is a bizarre place. God save the Queen.
Please validate your account to contribute content.
Preview Your Response
- Rae Manderscheid The World Of English Soccer Is Crazy ... and thinks it’s WTF, Fail & Shocking
- leandrodelac thinks The World Of English Soccer Is Crazy ... is Cray
- markstp thinks The World Of English Soccer Is Crazy ... is Win
- enriqueg5 The World Of English Soccer Is Crazy ...
- robl14 thinks The World Of English Soccer Is Crazy ... is WTF
Ok, a few points for the uninitiated. Cole has done nothing wrong and is a victim along with Anton. He provided his version of events to the court of law which believed him, some secretary who is not him has altered his statement, and the FA use that as an excuse to cite Terry (which they should not even have been bothering to do after he was cleared of provable guilt in a real court). Cole admitted in court that he was better friends with Ferdinand than with Terry (who is simply a colleague) yet he still testified honestly at the cost of his friendship. It may be a crude response but the sentiment rings true and most people agree with it. The FA have needlessly drawn out this whole process, made a spectacle and a mess out of it when better management would have seen the whole debacle concluded months ago. Crucial to the context of Cole’s quote is the fact that Anton Ferdinand’s brother Rio was fined by the FA for racially abusing Cole over Twitter in the aftermath of his original testimony in court. He became as much a victim as Anton, yet Anton pursued his grievance instead of recognising the whole thing had gone too far and was embarrassing to everyone involved. Trust me, as an Arsenal fan it pains me to defend Cole, but this case should go beyond club rivalry, and you haven’t really described the whole situation in this report. So the lamenting of the racism situation in football and Anton’s status as a victim comes across as pretty disingenuous when you’ve omitted crucial points and unfairly criticised Cole’s testimony. (For the record, the reference to the word “bridge” is not as strange as it sounds, because it refers to Wayne Bridge, a former teammate of Terry’s whose ex-girlfriend Terry supposedly had an affair with, after which they had a high-profile falling out. Anton admitted in court to referencing Bridge in the abuse he doled out to Terry in the same match.) And if this sounds like a pathetic mess, you’re right it is and that is largely down to the FA’s handling of the situation. In short, they really are a bunch of t***s.
You know what annoys me almost as much as the racism problem, all the Chelsea fans who say that JT is the victim in this. The same Chelsea fans who claim that Suarez got off lightly for the same crime, despite there being a hell of a lot less evidence.
Poor Chelsea, everyone always picks on them.
- ilaich21 thinks The World Of English Soccer Is Crazy ... is Fail