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Grant: Terry is not a racist

ESPN staff
September 24, 2012 « Nadal: 'Fantastic' Murray has got it all | Chartbeat test »
Avram Grant has expressed his surprise at John Terry's decision to quit England © PA Photos
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Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant has criticised the Football Association for its decision to charge John Terry.

Grant also expressed his surprise at Terry's decision to retire from international football after the defender claimed his position in the England team was 'untenable'.

As the disciplinary hearing began at Wembley on Monday, Anton Ferdinand gave his testimony to the independent panel, with Terry accused of using "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" towards the QPR defender last October, a charge which the former England captain denies.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches after he was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra last December and Terry could be handed a similar ban if found guilty by the FA, where the burden of proof is lower than that of a criminal trial.

But after Terry was found not guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence by a court in July, Grant has questioned the FA's decision to pursue the matter.

"Nobody thinks that John Terry is a racist so the FA need to leave it," Grant told BBC Radio 5 Live. "John likes to fight and he's very passionate about the national team so I was surprised. But he's not a child, he knows what he's doing.

"One thing I must say about JT is that he's not a racist, that's for sure. He's a good man. He respects everybody, he's good with people and I was very surprised that people thought bad things about him.

"If [the FA] think JT is racist they need to do something but I think nobody thinks he is a guy like this. I think the message was clear and I don't think they need to charge him. For the FA, the more important thing is the message that it will not have racism in sport."

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