Rio Ferdinand regrets not being vocal about John Terry racially abusing his brother Anton during a Chelsea v QPR game back in 2011.
Terry was found guilty by an independent regulatory commission.
The FA’s enquiry took place after Terry had been found not guilty in court, where it couldn’t be proven that the former England and Chelsea caption had called Ferdinand a “******* black ****”.
Terry never denied using the words, although he argued they formed part of a question, which doesn’t make using such language ok. If memory serves me correctly the former Chelsea captain changed his version of events more than once.
While Terry’s version always seemed implausible, the prosecution didn’t provide the court with the evidence to prove he was indeed guilty.
Just days before the FA’s decision to find Terry guilty was announced, he retired from international football and accused the FA for being at fault, but in truth it was the racism that did that.
Reflecting on the incident, Rio told The Beautiful Game podcast: “If I could rewind back the clock now I would have spoken out from day one and said to my brother ‘speak bow and say it’.
“You have to remember — there are lawyers in the background that represent us, the clubs, the Premier League, the PFA, the FA so you have all these different people talking.
“[They are] saying ‘what’s right and what’s best for you, for football, for XY and Z?’ and you get in this cloud, in this bubble and you take on all this professional advice and think ‘what is the best thing for everyone concerned?’
“Because you don’t want to be selfish in the situation, you end up being quiet, staying in the background and hoping that it plays out in the way that you think it should if anyone looks at the situation play out in a certain way.”
When found guilty by the FA, Terry was banned for four matches, stripping him of England’s armband and fined £220,000.
Asked if he had made up with Terry, Rio added: “No, no. The problem is that we did it from pure heart. Our hearts were pure in this situation but not everyone is like that. So when your heart is pure and you don’t speak you get punished.
“I’ve worked that out now. You’re the ones who get punished and tarnished. The ones who get labelled. Whether that is because you don’t speak, whether that’s because you’re black I don’t know but now I would speak straight away. My brother, I would say ‘speak, speak’.”
We shouldn’t forget how Terry came back to the international fold and how Roy Hodgson picked him over Ferdinand for Euro 2012. They obviously couldn’t share a dressing room but what sort of message was this for Hodgson to send out? It made a total mockery of the Ferdinand brothers.
Phil Jones, Joleon Lescott and Gary Cahill were all picked ahead of Ferdinand.