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5 footballers who were banned for racism

  • Racism has long been a blight on football, and these five players were all banned for using racist insults while on the pitch.
Scott Newman
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 15:01 IST

Stoke City v Chelsea - Premier League
John Terry was infamously banned for racism in 2012

Racism has been a problem in football for many years, and despite the attempts from various bodies – FIFA and the FA to name two – to “kick it out”, it remains an issue at the forefront of the sport. However, it’s one thing for a player to suffer racist abuse at the hands of ignorant opposing fans, but it’s another entirely to find themselves abused by a fellow professional.

It’s an unfortunate part of the game that footballers will give each other some abuse on the pitch, but when it degenerates into racism it becomes all that much worse. It’s been relatively rare to see, thankfully, but the following five players were all banned for racist taunts in some shameful scenes.

#1: John Terry

Queens Park Rangers v Chelsea - FA Cup Fourth Round
Terry was accused of using a racial slur towards Anton Ferdinand

The case of Chelsea’s ‘captain, leader, and legend’ John Terry is a curious one as the former England defender was actually cleared of all charges of using racist abuse in a court of law, and yet a later investigation from the FA found him guilty and saw him slapped with a four-match ban.

The incident in question came when Terry’s Chelsea were playing QPR in November 2011. Terry was alleged to have called QPR defender Anton Ferdinand a “f**king black c*nt”, and video footage of the incident quickly emerged, with expert lip readers confirming that Terry had used the slur.

For his part, Terry claimed that he hadn’t aimed the slur at Ferdinand and had actually been asking the player if he mistakenly thought he’d used it. The court cleared Terry, feeling that there was no way of proving the context of the slur although Terry did admit to uttering it. But the FA weren’t happy with the decision and launched an investigation of their own.

The investigation ended with the FA coming to the conclusion that Terry was guilty of using abusive and insulting words which included a reference to the race of Ferdinand, and hit him with a four-match ban as well as a £220,000 fine. The truth of the matter is still a question mark, although Terry didn’t contest the ban or fine.

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Published 21 Feb 2018, 00:52 IST
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