• Premier League

Di Matteo silent on John Terry captaincy

ESPN staff
October 19, 2012
Roberto Di Matteo sidesteps John Terry issue

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo failed on Friday to confirm that John Terry will remain the long-term captain of the club.

Friday's national newspapers were full of criticism for Chelsea for an apparent failure to sufficiently discipline their skipper after he accepted a four-match ban for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

The Blues said in a statement on Thursday: "The club firmly believes such language is not acceptable and fell below the standards expected of John as a Chelsea player. The board has taken further disciplinary action... in accordance with our long-standing policy, that disciplinary action will remain confidential."

The decision to keep said disciplinary action "confidential" prompted the written media to accuse Chelsea of double standards, after 'fan' Stephen Fitzwater was banned for life when he racially abused Didier Drogba.

Di Matteo faced such questions during his press conference ahead of the weekend's clash with Tottenham, and he was unable to confirm Terry's ongoing presence as Chelsea captain.

"We do not discuss publicly the disciplinary matters we take against our players. They remain confidential. You will have to wait and see," Di Matteo said. "They are internal matters, the action we take against our players, and we are not going to discuss it."

Asked whether it was suitable for Terry to remain captain, Di Matteo said: "Over the many years he has been here he has shown a lot of qualities. He has realised that on that day he fell below his standards and the club's standards.

"For that he has received a ban and a fine and more action from the club. He is being punished for what he has said. We have all made mistakes in our life before."

Terry was handed the captain's armband at Stamford Bridge at the start of the 2004/05 season, and has since led the Blues to three Premier League titles, four FA Cup triumphs and the Champions League, although he was suspended for the final against Bayern Munich.

He was also named England captain in 2006 but was stripped of the honour on two occasions, firstly in 2010 for tabloid revelations over an extra-marital affair and again earlier this year with regard to the Ferdinand case, which led to Terry announcing his retirement from international football.

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