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FA explain reasons for Terry ban and fine

Chelsea soccer player John Terry leaves a Football Association hearing at Wembley stadium in London September 25, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer
Chelsea soccer player John Terry leaves a Football Association hearing at Wembley stadium in London September 25, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

By Mike Collett

LONDON (Reuters) - The Football Association have released their report explaining why they rejected Chelsea captain John Terry's defense and found the player guilty of racially insulting Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand last year.

The FA published a 63-page document on Friday giving the reasons that led them to impose a four-match ban and 220,000-pound ($355,600) fine last week for an incident that occurred during a Premier League match at QPR's Loftus Road ground.

Terry, who has until October 18 to appeal against the ban and fine, was found not guilty of a racially aggravated offence towards Ferdinand by London magistrates in July.

The FA, who held their own inquiry into the incident, ruled they did not believe Terry was a racist, but they rejected his defense and said they had no doubt he racially abused Ferdinand in the game, after being provoked by the QPR player.

In the document, the FA said there was "no credible basis" for the Chelsea skipper's defense that he was only repeating words he believed the QPR defender had said to him.

Terry admitted using the word "black" surrounded by highly offensive swear words during the match but claimed he had only been repeating words he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying.

In its full written report on the verdict, the FA's independent regulatory commission said it was satisfied the words were intended as an insult by Terry.

The document states: "The commission is quite satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that there is no credible basis for Mr Terry's defense that his use of the words 'f****** black c***' were directed at Ferdinand by way of forceful rejection and/or inquiry.

"Instead, we are quite satisfied, and find on the balance of probabilities, that the offending words were said by way of insult.

"We are able to arrive at that decision without needing to make any adverse findings against Mr Terry arising out of his decision not to give evidence."

Commenting on the character references that were provided by his Chelsea team-mates, the FA conclude that "it is accepted by everyone involved in the criminal and disciplinary proceedings that Mr. Terry is not a racist".

The FA decided to ban the 31-year-old on the basis that the commission was satisfied the words were intended as an insult.

($1 = 0.6186 pounds)

(Editing by John O'Brien)

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