John Terry was recently handed a four match ban and a fine of £220,000 fine, after he was found guilty of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, by the FA. The punishment handed over to Terry was deemed to be too lenient (and was criticized by PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle) as Luis Suarez received a 8 match suspension and a bigger fine for a similar offence. Chelsea have also been criticized for not handling this issue strictly enough and Triesman believes that this shows the club in poor light.
Triesman has criticized the club and the player for neglecting their moral responsibility towards society. The former FA Chairman believes that if a similar incident would have taken place in any business corporation, the employee would have been dealt with more strictly.
“Large numbers of people around the world, especially black people, will read about what has happened. And they will wonder how on earth did Chelsea allow that?
“The club’s international reputation has suffered. Its brand has been damaged.
“They should be saying it isn’t acceptable as a standard of behaviour.
“If I was a Chelsea fan I wouldn’t be happy that my club was getting this kind of negative coverage.
“If it happened with any other business corporation, like Coca-Cola say, an employee would have been in serious trouble with that organisation.” – Triesman was quoted in the Mirror.
“Footballers are role models.
“When I was a referee in the 1970s the kids would copy the actions of their heroes they’d seen on televison the night before.
“So it’s not true to say that what stars do on the pitch won’t influence youngsters. I think clubs like Chelsea – and Liverpool during the Luis Suarez saga – have responsibilities to the next generation. Clubs should tell their very highly-paid employees what standards are expected of them.”
Triesman also cited the example of David Beckham, and stated how the former England captain was aware of his ‘obligations’ towards society.
“When I was at the FA I had dealings with David” said Triesman.
“I was so impressed with the way he put his celebrity to great cultural use. He knew it really does matter what the England captain does. He knew about the obligations and responsibilities that came with the job.
“Another very positive role model is Mo Farah.
“What a great example he, and so many other Olympians and Paralympians, set during the summer. It was a great six weeks – and it is hard not to contrast some of the football incidents with the Games.
“I think Terry should apologise and accept it’s not a good standard. I just don’t believe in this day and age that anybody can think that it’s OK, and that you don’t owe an apology for something like that.”
John Terry is yet to decide on whether he will appeal against the FA’s decision. Pressure has been growing on the former England captain to not appeal against the rulings.