Hodgson slammed over Terry comments

Hodgson slammed over Terry comments
By Eurosport

15/08/2012 at 20:31Updated 15/08/2012 at 20:37

Leading anti-racism campaigner Piara Powar has branded Roy Hodgson's intervention in the John Terry case as "foolish".

Ahead of Wednesday night's friendly with Italy in Berne, the England coach expressed support for Terry, who is currently the subject of an FA charge over comments made to Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road last October. Terry has already been found not guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence by Westminster Magistrates Court

After Hodgson expressed the hope Chelsea's captain would also be cleared at an FA hearing, Powar, executive director of Football Against Racism, said: "Hodgson's comments on Terry are foolish. It is not helpful to the process the FA has undertaken in any way."

He added: "The England manager is employed by the FA, who have a dual role in running the national team and being the governing body. Whatever support Roy Hodgson wants to give to a member of his squad, he also has to remember the FA's wider role.

"For the England coach to go public with his view like this calls into question that dual function."

By the time Terry's hearing takes place, the case will have been rumbling on for 11 months, bringing with it so many negative headlines the game could have done without.

It has done little to improve the game's profile in the eyes of the public who have been captivated not only by the athletic achievements, but also the humility of its Olympians over the past three weeks.

Whilst Powar has no wish to see cases resolved speedily at the expense of justice, he does feel greater transparency would have helped. "My primary concern with this case is that justice is done," he said. "That comes above any expediency within the decision-making process.

"There has been a criminal case involved here and no doubt the FA are carrying out their own investigations.

"What might have been better was if the FA put out a statement explaining what was happening and how long it was likely to take because the way it is going on, it risks people getting fed up with the situation."