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Terry appeal deadline approaches

Chelsea captain John Terry will announce on Thursday whether or not he will appeal against the four-match ban imposed on him by the FA for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers' Anton Ferdinand.

Terry and his advisors have had two weeks since the full written judgement from the independent regulatory commission, and they have until 18.00 BST to respond.

Terry, who was found not guilty of the same charge by a magistrate in July, was also fined £220,000 by the FA after being found guilty on their lower burden of proof. The panel labelled Terry's defence "improbable, implausible and contrived".

An appeal would drag the scandal into a second year, as the initial incident took place in the west London derby at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011.

It would also mean prolonging the scandal, which has run for just a week short of a full year and provided numerous negative headlines, for Terry and the whole of English football.

If Terry does not lodge an appeal, his ban will begin effective immediately, ruling him out of Saturday lunchtime's Premier League clash at London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has called upon Terry, 31, to accept the punishment.

Taylor said: "I would like the situation to be ended and people learn from it and move on. It is a decision for John and his advisers, but my preference would be now to accept what has gone on and that things were said which shouldn't have been said.

"Sorry is the hardest word to say but we have got to learn from it and move on. To get reconciliation, people have to accept what they have done is wrong, and there has to be some reconciliation because it is causing the game to implode from within. It has caused division among black players and among white players."

In its judgement the FA panel ruled that Terry "is not a racist" but were "satisfied" his comments were used as an insult.

The three-man panel said there was "no credible basis" for Terry's claim he had only been repeating words he thought QPR defender Ferdinand had accused him of saying.