London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Chelsea captain John Terry is expected to play against Arsenal Saturday as the four-game suspension handed by English Football Association against him for racial abuse will not take effect immediately.
“The penalty is suspended until after the outcome of any appeal, or the time for appealing expires, or should Mr. Terry decide not to appeal,” the FA said in a statement.
Terry was cleared in July by Westminster Magistrates Court of racial abuse against QPR’s Anton Ferdinand but FA found him guilty of a similar charge under its rules Thursday.
Once the FA report is officially released, the 31-year-old Terry has 14 days to appeal the ban and $356,000 fine, during which time he can also see action on the pitch.
Terry, who has always denied all charges against him, was still contemplating on whether to appeal the verdict.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo said if Terry is available to play against Arsenal, he will be captain.
Terry could also play in other Barclays Premier League matches in October against Norwich, Tottenham and Manchester United.
“He trained well today, as hard as always,” Di Matteo said. “He’s an experienced player who has played many difficult games before, in difficult circumstances and environments. If selected, I don’t think there will be a problem.”
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson advised Terry to think carefully before appealing.
“There is a danger of it resurrecting itself because it has been going on so long,” said Ferguson. “But the fact he got a four-game ban, he may consider that is quite lenient considering Luis Suarez got eight. It is time to move on and so should the game.”
Ferguson was referring to Liverpool’s Liverpool’s Suarez, who was suspended eight games for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. He was also fined around a week’s wages or around $64,900.
For his part, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew called on the FA to make penalties for racism even more severe.
“I am not party to all the information, but the games, the fine — you do want to see consistency in that area,” Pardew said. “That’s something that I think needs to be looked at, and I hope the FA do that going forward because if it does happen again, it should be a severe fine if somebody is guilty.”