John Terry: you know what you are – except thanks to the FA, we don’t
Almost a year on from the now notorious incidents of their last league meeting there, Chelsea return to QPR this weekend: and the FA are STILL yet to cast judgement.
September 8th, 2012
It seems barely believable that any authority could show such dithering incompetence as the one which governs our football has in the last year.
England selection, the captaincy, the resignation of the national coach, England selection again, another national coach in hot water, the court case, the ‘choc ice’: at every turn, the FA has shown it is completely incapable of displaying effective leadership or judgement. Over a week in court we saw all five days of evidence, including video footage of the incident from every possible angle. The case was handled effectively and methodically – something of which the FA could take note.
On 13 July, the District Judge produced the only possible verdict that any reasonable court could reach – that Terry was not guilty. The FA, as process dictates, could only then raise its own charges: but even this had to wait another fortnight (and until the media glare was occupied by the Olympic opening ceremony).
Those charges differ from the ones before the court, as does the burden of proof: but even so, the matter should have been cleared up before the season got under-way.
And still we wait.
It does no favours at all for the overall perception of justice if those administering it are so utterly bumbling in their approach. And the perceived lack of fairness caused by the FA’s inability to explain process and deliver it swiftly makes a further mockery of the game and its laws.
Of course, all this won’t stop Terry getting stick this coming weekend: something he admitted in court that he had come to expect, and was mostly water off a duck’s back. And I’m certain the Met Police won’t thank the FA for leaving its decision hanging, and adding further spice to an already vindaloo-hot derby match. Though it has to be good news for all concerned that Anton Ferdinand is unlikely to be playing.
So perhaps, in an unlikely show of solidarity, fans of both clubs could turn their attentions to the party in all of this that has done most to bring the game into disrepute.
Perhaps this weekend they could sing: “We know what you are, we know what you are, unfit to govern, we know what you are…”