Di Matteo refuses to confirm if Terry will remain as Chelsea captain
Roberto Di Matteo refuses to confirm whether John Terry will retain the Chelsea captaincy following racism saga
Roberto Di Matteo has refused to confirm whether John Terry will retain the Chelsea captaincy after the defender was fined and banned for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.
Terry was handed a £220,000 fine and four-game suspension by the Football Association earlier this month after being found guilty by an independent panel of racially abusing Ferdinand during Chelsea’s clash at Loftus Road last October.
The 31-year-old centre-half, who was cleared by Westminster Magistrates’ Court of racially abusing Ferdinand in July, opted not to appeal against the sanctions and issued an apology for the language he used on Thursday.
Chelsea then confirmed the club would be taking internal disciplinary action against the defender almost a year after the incident took place.
But Di Matteo would not be drawn on whether the internal proceedings would include Terry losing the captaincy.
“We do not discuss publicly the disciplinary action we take against our players,” Di Matteo told a news conference on Friday. “They remain confidential and you will have to wait and see. They are internal matters.
“We appreciate that he has not appealed the ban and the fine and also that he has apologised publicly for the language that he used. We are supportive of that.
“He’s apologised generally to everyone, including the Ferdinand family. It’s an apology for everyone for the language he used in that game. He realised it was not appropriate.”
Terry will miss Chelsea’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday lunchtime as a result of his suspension and Di Matteo said his future as captain would not be revealed until Tuesday’s Champions League clash at Shakhtar Donetsk – although he admitted the defender has already learned his fate.
“He knows [whether he will remain as captain or not],” said Di Matteo. “I think over the many years that he’s been here he’s shown a lot of qualities.
“He realises that on that day he probably fell below the club’s standards. He’s getting punished for what he said and I think we’ve all made mistakes in our lives.”