Anton Ferdinand dismissed John Terry insults as 'banter', court hears

 

Footballer Anton Ferdinand dismissed insults traded with John Terry as "banter" and initially denied any racist obscenity had been used, a court heard today.

England and Chelsea defender Terry, 31, is accused of calling Ferdinand a "f****** black c***" during a Premier League game on October 23 last year.

Today Westminster Magistrates' Court heard that at first Queens Park Rangers centre-half Ferdinand did not think any racist insult had been used.

He shook hands with Terry and accepted that their clash was "handbags" and "banter".

But after the match, his then girlfriend showed him a clip of their exchange posted on YouTube, and he believed Terry had used the racist obscenity.

Ferdinand told the court that if he had realised at the time he would have told officials.

He said: "I would have been obviously very hurt and I probably wouldn't have reacted at the time because, being a professional, you can't do that. I probably would have let the officials know what happened and dealt with it after the game.

"When someone brings your colour into it, it takes it to another level and it's very hurtful."

Chelsea were down to nine men in the clash at Loftus Road, and Ferdinand and Terry began trading insults over a penalty claim, the court heard.

Ferdinand said: "He called me a c*** and I called him a c*** back and he gave me a gesture as if to say my breath smelled.

"I said to him, 'How can you call me a c***? You shagged your team-mate's missus, you're a c***'."

This was a reference to Terry's alleged affair with Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Perroncel.

Ferdinand jogged down the pitch making a fist gesture to imply sex, he told the court.

After the match, Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole told him: "You can't talk to JT like that."

Terry then met Ferdinand to ask what had happened.

"Mr Terry said, 'Do you think I racially abused you?'. I was like. 'No'," Ferdinand told the court.

"I said 'No, that never came out of my mouth'. Then Ashley Cole popped his head round and said 'Yeah, didn't you say that to me?' I said 'I didn't say that at all'."

Terry is accused of a racially aggravated public order offence, which he denies.

He maintains that he was only sarcastically repeating what Ferdinand wrongly thought he had said.

In cross-examination by George Carter-Stephenson QC, for Terry, Ferdinand said he was no stranger to being sworn at and agreed he had also sworn at players.

The QPR defender said he was angry at Terry trying to get a penalty and "he barged me in the back for no reason", he said.

Proceedings in Court One have been punctuated by swear words but Ferdinand insisted he did not use those words off the pitch.

The QC asked the witness if by shouting abuse at him he was "trying to get a rise out of Mr Terry and get him to react?"

"Probably, yes," said Ferdinand.

"There wasn't long left in the game."

Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, attended today's hearing and sat in the public gallery.

Mr Carter-Stephenson suggested that Ferdinand made up the allegation of racism as swearing at him and talking about his alleged affair was not having "the desired effect" of winding Terry up.

Ferdinand denied this.

Mr Carter-Stephenson said: "So you decided to increase the level and accuse him of being a racist."

"No," said Mr Ferdinand.

"Words to the effect of 'calling me a black c***'."

"No," said the player.

"And he responded to it, didn't he?" the barrister continued.

Again, Ferdinand answered "No", before agreeing that levelling the accusation would be serious.

Mr Carter-Stephenson said Cole asked Ferdinand during the discussion after the match: "Did you think JT called you a black c***?

"You know he isn't like that."

Mr Carter-Stephenson said Ferdinand only decided to go to police when persuaded by his agent Justin Rigby.

Ferdinand denied this, saying: "No, I made up my own mind, I wanted to do it."

In re-examination, he said he was initially reluctant to talk to the police because it was a sporting issue.

"This is a footballing issue that happened on the football pitch where we work," Ferdinand told the court.

The trial, expected to last five days, continues tomorrow.

PA

Arts & Entertainment
The original design with Charles' face clearly visible, which is on display around the capital
arts + ents The ad shows Prince Charles attired for his coronation in a crown and fur mantle with his mouth covered by a criss-cross of white duct tape
News
People White House officials refuse to make comment on 275,000 signatures that want Justin Bieber's US visa revoked
Sport
Mourinho lost his temper as well as the match
sportLiverpool handed title boost as Sunderland smash manager’s 77-game home league run
Voices
Sweet tweet: Victoria Beckham’s selfie, taken on her 40th birthday on Thursday
voices... and her career-long attack on the absurd criteria by which we define our 'betters', by Ellen E Jones
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Sport
Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (front) drives ahead of Red Bull Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia during the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International circuit
sport Hamilton captured his third straight Formula One race with ease on Sunday, leading from start to finish to win the Chinese Grand Prix

Arts & Entertainment
Billie Jean King, who won the women’s Wimbledon title in 1967, when the first colour pictures were broadcast
tv
News
Snow has no plans to step back or reduce his workload
mediaIt's 25 years since Jon Snow first presented Channel 4 News, and his drive shows no sign of diminishing
Life & Style
food + drinkWhat’s not to like?
Voices
Clock off: France has had a 35‑hour working week since 1999
voicesThere's no truth to a law banning work emails after 6pm, but that didn’t stop media hysteria
Arts & Entertainment
Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones now
tvMajor roles that grow with their child actors are helping them to steal the show on TV
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Life & Style
Lana Del Rey, Alexa Chung and Cara Delevingne each carry their signature bag
fashionMulberry's decision to go for the super-rich backfired dramatically
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit