Roy Hodgson hopes John Terry will be 'freed' of his FA disciplinary charge
It has been reported by the BBC and other media outlets today that Roy Hodgson said in a press conference ahead of England's friendly match with Italy in Switzerland that:
"I'm hoping, and I make no secret of that, the case will take its course and that John, hopefully, will be freed as he was freed in a court of law, and will carry on playing for England.
"That's my hope. What will happen, I have no idea. I thought John did well in the Euros and I'd like to keep using him, but this is a case which is way out of my hands. John understands that.
"All I can do, like many of his supporters I suppose, is just hope he gets freed and can continue to play."
The FA is currently conducting an their own investigation into John Terry using "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" in the Premier League match between QPR and Chelsea on 23 October.
Show Racism the Red Card spoke to Honorary Patron, former professional footballer and manager and now football broadcaster, Leroy Rosenior, about Roy's comments.
What did you think of Roy Hodgson’s interview today, in which he said he hoped Terry is ‘freed’ of FA charge?
“I can understand why he hopes he’s freed, so he’s free to pick him for England, but I was disappointed that Roy aired those views in public, especially, coming from the England manager. I would have hoped that he would just allow the FA to get on and come to their decision, which isn’t based on the court case.”
“You know I saw his interview and he said that obviously John Terry was found not-guilty of racial abuse – I think that’s the key, was found not-guilty because of the balance of probability (in the court case), but when it comes to the FA investigations about the balance of possibility, it’s a different way that they investigate things. So in the court case they couldn’t prove it beyond reasonable doubt and that was the key and I think that’s what came out in the court case - that something was said, but they couldn’t prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was said in a way that was deemed to be racially abusive of Anton Ferdinand.”
“The FA took it on board to then have their own investigation and they thought it was prudent to charge John Terry and The FA, I think, made the right decision, they need their own investigation and their investigation, as I said, is based on the balance of possibility.”
“Now the England manager, really when that happens, in any investigation, should keep clear and keep his opinions to himself. So I can understand from his own ‘selfish’ point of view in terms of picking players for England he feels that John Terry is key to England’s success in the coming months and years. But when it comes down to any investigation it’s important that people stay clear until the actual investigation is finished and done with and he hasn’t done that. I think he’ll be regretting those comments and I hope someone makes clear to him that as the England manager, when it comes to any investigation, he needs to keep his opinions to himself.”
Roy Hodgson acknowledged that the case is ‘sub-judice’ in terms of the FA investigation and whatever he said could be misinterpreted, but is there a danger that when the England manager says he hopes Terry won’t be banned he could prejudice the outcome of the FA investigation?
“It can certainly prejudice the FA investigation because what if they find John Terry guilty; where does that leave Roy Hodgson in terms of his employers? In total disagreement with them, that’s what it would seem (in that case). It has put them in a difficult situation and it can prejudice (a decision) because now they have to take that in to consideration, he’s the England manager.”
“I don’t think they will, I think they’ll come to the right decision whatever that is. I applauded the FA for charging John Terry not because I think he’s guilty, but because they wanted to come to their own decision and make sure that it was their own decision based on the evidence that they’ve seen. And now someone that’s the top employee within their company to come out and express a preferred outcome isn’t helpful. Even though, you know, it’s under investigation. It would have been more prudent if Roy had said ‘look I support John Terry’, which is fine as I’m sure he does, ‘but wait until the outcome of the investigation and then take it from there’. But he’s put himself in a very difficult situation, certainly not with John Terry, but with the FA and with his relationship with the FA at this moment in time.”
Roy Hodgson also said earlier this month that only an ‘enormous ban’ would stop Terry being a part of future squads. What kind of message does this send out to other players?
“Exactly, he can’t say things that will influence the outcome of any investigation and so saying that only an enormous ban would influence him or he hopes that John Terry will not be found guilty, they all influence things, because its coming from the England manager.
“Roy is a decent man, there’s absolutely no doubt about it. I understand from his perspective, the context he’s putting it in, it wasn’t one in which he felt it would have any sort of effect, but he’s got to realise he’s the England manager now.
"He’s the number one manager in terms of the governing body and he can’t say things that will prejudice any investigation in one way or the other. And that does.”
“I hope he realises that and I hope that somebody has now, how can I put it? Put him straight. What his responsibilities are, what he can influence and what he can’t influence and we can move forward. But it is difficult now, he’s put the FA in a difficult situation with this investigation and if they do find him (Terry) guilty and ban him for quite a lot of games that puts Roy in a difficult situation as well.”
“You certainly don’t want to, as an England manager, be pushed into a corner. Look at what happened to Fabio Capello. So you don’t want to make statements which might just do that.
"It’s a difficult job and Roy’s got to play the politician at times, but on this occasion I don’t think he’s done that very well and I hope that the relevant people in charge will just point that out to him and hopefully it doesn’t influence their decision in any way, one way or the other.”