Date: 15th August 2012 at 4:08pm
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John Terry spits at Carlos Tevez during the Champions League final

John Terry spits at Carlos Tevez during the Champions League final

Roy Hodgson has stated he very much still wants to use John Terry in his England set-up despite the fact that Terry is now under investigation by the FA for his clash with Anton Ferdinand in October last year. Surely after all the controversy he can’t still be fit for England service?

In our everyday lives as mundane individuals we are all expected to conduct ourselves in a particular manner: Whether you are a refuse collector, a retail assistant, a waiter/waitress, or an investment banker. In each of these professions and many, many more the employee will have a set of behavioural criteria within which you are required to fall; or you will swiftly find yourself falling out of a job. Unlike footballers and other famous people we do not have large sums of money in order to build up legal teams to defend us in any such dispute of conduct.

This is relevant to the Terry case as this is what was able to happen by the charges being taken up by the CPS. Terry was able to use his legal defence and show that there was no evidence beyond reasonable doubt that he was racist. And rightly so. It is simply not possible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a person is racist (unless of course they are a member of an extremist group – and even then such recreational activity may not mirror day to day realities in, for example, the workplace). With the fact that the trial was so delayed, and he eventually got off with a slap on the wrist in the public sphere, it would seem that the whole saga was nothing more than an overhyped waste of time. Despite what it seems and the way it has been played out in the media racism is actually not the issue here…

Like previously stated workplaces have rules and regulations which employers expect you follow. Not for the first time John Terry has brought the game into disrepute (his company the FA also if you will) and thus should face a suitable punishment. What I don’t understand is 1) why everyone rates him so highly? And 2) how a man can be seen as unfit for a job TWICE and still be allowed to enjoy similar privileges?

In a nutshell John Terry is a very ordinary footballer, with an extraordinary skill for avoiding the repercussions of his actions. He can pass a ball, he puts in some very good challenges, and he is decent in the air. In what way does this distinguish him from any other centre-half playing top tier football in the country? IT DOESN’T. I know the Chelsea brigade will be quick to defend him and say he plays with pride and heart, but I would argue just like those other Chelsea internationals around him, he just does not put in the same performances for his national side that he does at club level.

More importantly Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy not once, but twice. Twice he has been looked at by the FA as having too much trouble around him in his personal life and has thus been deemed unfit for service. After a second misdemeanour most of us would find ourselves out of a job. Let alone if we had a criminal court case pending. In any other professional situation and quite likely any other sport the individual would have been suspended pending investigation. Not John Terry, he is allowed to play the rest of the season and even gets to lift the Champion’ League trophy despite being suspended for the final. After this he is then able to represent his country at the Euro’s.

Maybe I am old fashioned and out of touch but it is my belief that each member of the England team should be a possible captain. I see the armband as almost ceremonial: When it comes down to the crunch every player on that pitch should be a leader playing with guts, pride and passion. Now if you are seen as being unfit for this role, unfit to lead your country as part of the 11 elite players on that pitch, then you should not even be in the squad let alone the starting line-up. If you have been deemed twice to have brought the FA and English football into controversy, then surely you are not fit to represent your country at an international tournament watched all over Europe. That is of course unless you are John Terry.

There was a similar instance this season of racial abuse which you may remember between Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra. Suarez was deemed by the FA to have used “insulting words” which included a reference to Evra’s skin colour. Subsequently Suarez was handed an eight match ban and fined £40,000. Now despite this being an issue of racial abuse it was not taken to the courts, it was not stretched out and over-dramatised by the media and Suarez was not able to carry on as if nothing had happened. Suarez was deemed by the FA to bring the game into disrepute and was subsequently punished and forced to bear the consequences of his alleged actions. Of course Luis Suarez is not John Terry.

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