FA reject Kick It Out comments in Anton Ferdinand documentary

File picture showing West Ham United’s Anton Ferdinand during training at the West Ham United Training Ground in Chadwell Heath August 14, 2008. — Action Images/Andrew Couldridge Livepic via Reuters
File picture showing West Ham United’s Anton Ferdinand during training at the West Ham United Training Ground in Chadwell Heath August 14, 2008. — Action Images/Andrew Couldridge Livepic via Reuters

LONDON, Dec 1 — The Football Association (FA) has highlighted “substantial and serious inaccuracies” put forward by Troy Townsend of anti-racism organisation Kick It Out in a documentary about Anton Ferdinand’s case against former England captain John Terry.

In Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism and Me which aired yesterday, former West Ham United player Ferdinand questioned Kick It Out’s head of development Townsend over what he described as a lack of support when he brought the case against Terry in 2011.

Townsend said rules prevented Kick It Out from speaking to an alleged victim while a case was active, adding that “the game has never protected the victim”.

The FA, in a statement after the programmed aired, said: “We can confirm that there are no rules or inferences in the relationship which prevent Kick It Out from contacting victims of discrimination.

“On the contrary, the FA’s written policy is to actively encourage the involvement of Kick It Out so that they can support victims of discrimination during and after the FA’s disciplinary process.”

Townsend told Ferdinand he feared for his job when he criticised the FA because his organisation was funded by the governing body.

“In alleging that an individual at Kick It Out fears losing their job if they criticise footballing authorities, this is simply without foundation,” the FA added.

Terry was banned for four matches and fined after an FA disciplinary hearing in 2012 found him guilty of using racially abusive language towards Ferdinand during a match.

A court had earlier found Terry not guilty of the charge.

Terry did not participate in the documentary, but his representatives said he had moved on with his life and did not want to reopen a case on television that was decided in court.

The FA said it stood by its investigation into Terry, saying it showed the player “no favouritism and made clear how serious the allegations were taken”. — Reuters

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