Any doubts about the veracity of the verdict by the FA panel into the John Terry racism row were assuaged today with the release of the long awaited full transcript of thed FA Panels report.
It gives a damning verdict of Terrys lame defence that he had merely been repeating the words of Anton Ferdinand in some puzzled way. Instead, the report labels Terry`s defence as 'improbable, implausible and contrived'. Make no mistake, these are massively damning words and one can only wonder whether Capello or Hdgson would have been allowed to select Terry for England had this report been available at the time. Instead, in a cynical act of delaying tactics, Terrys`s lawyers and Chelsea FC asked for the case to be heard after the Euros. Now we know why.
We now hear that Ashley Cole`s original evidence to the Magistrates Hearing was altered by the club secretary David Barnard. Cole did not mention the word 'black' in the initial interview with the FA on October 28. On November 3, Chelsea club secretary David Barnard asked the FA for the specific word 'black' to be inserted into Cole's witness statement, suggesting that Cole may have heard Ferdinand use the term. This is considered as new evidence in legal terms and there could be serious implications for Cloe, Barnard and Chelsea if this is considered a contempt of court.
Cole has now released a tweet from his verified twitter account making derogatory comments about the FA. He has tweeted that the FA are a 'bunch of t----', he also said that he wasnt a liar, even though neither the FA nor anybody else used the word liar? It now remains to be seen how the FA react to that, given that Cole is still and England player. If the FA have any integrity at all, that will be the end of his England career.
On a separate issue, where does this leave England manager Roy Hodgson? He has publicly supported Terry and there are suspicions that his pathetic excuse of "football reasons" for leaving Rio Ferdinand out of the England squad in favour of Terry display a disturbing discriminative side. That has led to calls for Hodgson to stand down as England manager.
To add insult to injury, Hodgson was caught discussing Rio Ferdinands omission from the squad on the tube train on his way to the FA headquarters, stating that Ferdinand would not play for England again. Apart from an astounding lack of judgement, it also displays a bigoted attitude towards a player who has played 81 times for his country.
All in all, a bad day for football and more particularly Chelsea FC who, it seems, feel that they and their players and staff are above the rules and laws that everyone else has to obey. It will be interesting to hear how the FA and EUFA view Chelsea`s stance.