Former West Brom Albion striker Cyrille Regis has revealed that FA’s leniency towards Chelsea captain John Terry was the reason behind the protest last weekend.
Regis’ nephew Jason Roberts, Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand and many other footballers refused to wear the Kick It Out t-shirt during the matches last weekend, which has lead to a lot of debate of the last few days.
Former England international Cyrille Regis has now revealed that Roberts along with other footballers protested against the FA’s lenient decision against John Terry earlier this month. Regis said that the players were disappointed with the action FA took against Terry after he was found guilty of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. The former striker pointed out the discrepancy between the punishments of Luis Suarez and John Terry for similar offence.
“There is a feeling that John Terry has been let off lightly. You are not going to stamp out racism with laws – it is intrinsic to some people. But where it rears its ugly head the authorities have to stamp down and, if they don’t do it with the right force, it gives the impression that it’s OK.
“Black players have been voicing their opinion for a long time but feel it hasn’t been listened to. They were unhappy at the time it took for the FA to sort things out, a whole year in the John Terry case. Then Luis Suárez got eight games, while Terry got four – what is the difference? The panel’s assessment was that Suárez said the word several times while John Terry only said it once? Come on, do we have zero tolerance or not?” – Regis was quoted in the Guardian.
While Sir Alex Ferguson initially criticized both Roberts and Ferdinand for snubbing the Kick It Out campaign, he has later conceded that there has been a ‘communication problem’ which eventually led to this. Reading manager Brian McDermott has meanwhile given his full backing to Jason Roberts saying he fully understands the player’s stand against the issue.
While Chelsea did hand over a fine to John Terry after the defender accepted FA’s decision, people in the game has raised their concerns over the fact that Terry retains the captainship at the club. Terry will be under the spot light once again as Chelsea takes on Shakthar Donetsk in their Champions League fixture tonight, where the Chelsea captain will be wearing UEFA’s anti-racism arm band.