LONDON (AP) — Chelsea captain John Terry's defense that he did not racially abuse an opponent was "implausible and contrived," the FA panel that banned him for four matches said Friday.
The panel's 63-page findings were published a week after the verdict, and Terry has 14 days to decide whether to appeal against his four-match ban and 220,000-pound ($356,000) fine in English football's highest-profile racism case.
Although Terry was cleared in a criminal court in July, an FA panel with a lower burden of proof found the former England captain guilty of directing abuse at Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match last October.
Terry, who quit the national team before the verdict, maintained that he only used the slur to counter an accusation of racism he claimed Ferdinand was leveling at him.
But the FA commission concluded that aspects of Terry's defense were "improbable, implausible and contrived, and which serve to underline and reinforce our decision."
"The commission is quite satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that there is no credible basis for Mr. Terry's defense that his use of the words '(expletive) black (expletive)' were directed at Ferdinand by way of forceful rejection and/or inquiry," the FA report said. "Instead, we are quite satisfied, and find on the balance of probabilities, that the offending words were said by way of insult."
The panel said "inconsistencies" in evidence from Terry's Chelsea teammate Ashley Cole showed there is "plainly more than enough cumulative evidence" for the verdict.
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