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Nov 8, 2011

Lord Ouseley could quit over Terry row

Lord Herman Ouseley, the most influential and respected anti-racist campaigner in English football, is deliberating whether to quit the FA Council depending on the outcome of the investigation into England captain John Terry's alleged abuse of Anton Ferdinand.

• Capello to make final Terry call
• Capello confirms Terry in squad
• Terry set to captain England
• FA to appeal Rooney ban

Lord Ouseley has been chairman of the 'Kick It Out' organisation since 1993, and his loss to football would be immense, but he feels so strongly over the Terry-Ferdinand incident that he is considering handing in his resignation unless there are positive outcomes for football and society.

He stressed that he is not passing any kind of judgement on Terry, and does believe that everyone should be considered innocent until proven guilty, but it is his anger with the way the football authorities have dealt with this issue could see him walk away.

ESPNsoccernet can reveal that he has received numerous calls from fellow campaigners such as Garth Crooks concerned that he will walk out, while Lord Ouseley will wait for the result of the investigation before making a decision.

"I am prepared to wait until the outcome, as people I trust and respect have asked me not to be impulsive and to wait until the outcome is known, and this is what I plan to do,'' Lord Ouseley told ESPNsoccernet. "Whether or not I have had enough of it all will depend on what happens next.

"The important issue here is that we have made great strides and progress over the last decade and a half in challenging unacceptable and racist behaviour and we are all very keen to maintain that momentum.

"It must go on beyond this incident and ensure we set the standards that must not be breached in the future. What is done on that score will determine what I do next."

In respect of the specifics of the case, and Terry in particular, Lord Ouseley will make no comment. However, asked about the role of England captain and its importance, he said: "The England captaincy is a public appointment, an honour and a privilege. It is an appointment far and above anyone who is made captain of their club.

"When I think of the England captain, I think of Bobby Moore, someone who represents the country as an interface of that country. That person is the flag bearer for their country.

"He is the standard bearer for the conduct you would expect from the society of that country. He is the leader, the exemplar for that country.

"We have Respect campaigns, players wear Respect on their sleeves, and we expect the right kind of behaviour and conduct from our professional footballers. How can we expect to set the right example to the youth of this country, if that respect breaks down on whatever level?"

Terry denies making any racist remark to Ferdinand and is awaiting the result of the investigation with England due to play a friendly against Spain at Wembley on Saturday.

• Harry Harris' new book: 19: The Remarkable Story of United's League Championship Record is available now.

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