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Home » Sport » Football

Les speaks out over Terry row

There will be no prizes for guessing which issue dominates the back pages of the English newspapers once again on Thursday, with the John Terry race row taking centre stage once again.

Though Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas dedicated the club's Carling Cup win over Everton to their skipper, with the Daily Express leading with a back-page headline of 'That's for you John', the other papers make far less pleasant reading for the England captain.

Terry categorically denies accusations that he racially abused Anton Ferdinand but if he is found guilty, then the QPR defender's cousin, former Spurs and Newcastle striker Les Ferdinand, says the FA should ban Terry from the national team.

"It’s down to the FA, but I’d be shouting from the rooftops," he said. "They need to make a statement. If they don’t, paltry fines that have been handed out in the past prove that these people do not believe there is a problem with racism in football."

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright also has his say in his column in The Sun on Thursday morning, and suggests Chelsea have been all too quick to back their captain, without establishing the facts of the matter.

He writes: "I must say, though, when Chelsea came out so quickly to back him 100 per cent, you'd have to question their wisdom. Of course you expect them to be loyal to their player, but did they really have time to investigate it thoroughly?

"It's the same thing with Liverpool and their rapid defending of Luis Suarez, after similar allegations from Patrice Evra. Yes, back him to the hilt. But you've got to hold your own official inquiry to look fully into the situation as well."

The Daily Mail claims to have inside knowledge of the evidence QPR will submit to the Football Association's inquiry into allegations that Terry racially abused Ferdinand in Sunday's Premier League fixture at Loftus Road.

The paper reports that QPR stars Shaun Derry, Clint Hill and Paddy Kenny have all supported their team-mate's account and questioned the explanation provided by Terry for his use of the phrase "black ****". However, QPR have already moved to deny that this is the case.

Here the paper takes up the tale: "Sportsmail understands that Clint Hill, Paddy Kenny and Shaun Derry have provided statements that point to a serious flaw in Terry’s version of events at Loftus Road on Sunday.

"Ferdinand was baffled by the statement the England and Chelsea captain issued on Sunday night, particularly his claim that YouTube footage showed him responding to an accusation from Ferdinand that Terry had just called him ‘a black ****’.

"Kenny, Derry and Hill - an active players’ union representative - question whether any such exchange took place, given that Ferdinand had no knowledge of a racial element to what was said until after the game.

"Terry does not deny that the video shows him using the phrase ‘black ****’ but argues that it was said in the context of Ferdinand’s accusation - an accusation Ferdinand and his team-mates will say was never made."

Furthermore, the Mail reports that Terry "has tried to contact both Anton and Rio Ferdinand to resolve the situation. But both brothers have refused to take Terry’s calls, further underlining the fact that - contrary to Terry’s claim - Anton Ferdinand does not consider the matter to be ‘finished’."

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