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Oct 19, 2012

Terry urged to take up anti-racism role

Anti-racism campaigner Lord Herman Ouseley wants Chelsea captain John Terry to play a prominent role in the battle to raise awareness against racial abuse in football.

• Blog: Chelsea open door for Cole
• Preview: Spurs v Chelsea

Lord Ouseley, the chairman of anti-racism campaign Kick It Out, has been critical of the handling of the Terry case after it took 12 months for an FA ban to be handed out and then accepted by the defender for the racial abuse of QPR's Anton Ferdinand.

Terry's four-game suspension starts against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, ahead of Kick It Out's annual week of raising awareness of racism in football, which traditionally involves players wearing T-shirts during their warm-up.

Lord Ouseley feels Terry, who faces "further disciplinary action" from his club but will not lose the captaincy, should play a part in the Kick It Out process, rather than be ostracised for his actions.

"The idea is that the clubs do whatever they feel appropriate during our two weeks of action, and that could be the players wearing T-shirts or whatever message the clubs wish to make," Lord Ouseley told ESPN.

"As for John Terry, he has a big following in football and it would be wrong to be obstructive to him being involved. In fact it would be right for John Terry to show that he stands for quality and fair treatment for all.

"He has apologised for the language he used almost a year ago,and yes, of course, it has been a long time coming, but that isn't the point.

"He is now serving a four-game suspension so he will be suspended when the campaign is going, but he can still be involved.

"The point is that if Nelson Mandela can emerge from all of his years in prison and shake the hands of the people who incarcerated him, then we should welcome any help from John Terry not ostracise him.

"Kick It Out stands for changing people's perceptions, it stands for showing a new generation what is right and what is wrong.

"We want children shaking each other's hands before and after football matches, we want them to see their heroes doing it, to be inspired by it and to educate a new generation, and to achieve that we need the people at the very top of football and sport showing the way forward."