Ashley Cole defends John Terry over racism charge

 

Footballer Ashley Cole said today England and Chelsea team-mate John Terry should not have been taken to court over racism claims.

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

He denies a racially aggravated public order offence, and claims that he was sarcastically repeating the slur that Ferdinand mistakenly thought he had used.

Today Cole, also 31, told Westminster Magistrates' Court: "I think we shouldn't be sitting here."

He said while racism should never be tolerated, repeating what you thought someone said was "completely different".

Cole said: "If I repeated something that I thought you said, that's totally different than if someone just says something."

The court was read a statement from former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who denied Terry was racist.

Mourinho, who manages Spanish champions Real Madrid, said Terry had an excellent relationship with all the players regardless of ethnicity when he was Chelsea boss between June 2004 and September 2009. Terry also championed the FA's anti-racism campaigns.

Mourinho said: "I never once witnessed any demonstration of racism or racial abuse or behaviour.

"I am certain that John Terry is not a racist."

Several players - including Frank Lampard, Fernando Torres and Petr Cech - had signed copies of a prepared statement that said: "I have never heard John Terry use any form of racist language and have never heard any suggestion that he may have done so."

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck also praised the defendant's character.

He said: "I would say, and other people at Chelsea would say, he has an almost uncanny mental strength that when there are some bumps in his personal life he is able to go on the football field and do his job as though nothing is going on.

"Other people have it, but I have never seen it like John Terry has it."

Earlier, the court heard Cole describe Terry as "a close friend", who had been his England and Chelsea team-mate for six or seven years.

But he said there was a "conflict" because he is also friends with Ferdinand and his brother Rio.

He was asked by George Carter-Stephenson QC, for Terry, about being asked to make a statement to the Football Association as part of their investigation into what happened.

The statement was not read out in court because it did not form part of the evidence in the case.

Mr Carter-Stephenson said: "Did you want to get involved in the situation?"

Cole answered: "No."

The barrister asked: "When you made the statement what was in your mind?"

Cole replied: "The FA summoned me to do it."

Mr Carter-Stephenson continued: "Did you feel there was any conflict?"

Cole said: "Yeah. JT is my team-mate and friend, Anton and Rio and his family, I've known for a long time."

Cole said on the day of the match at Loftus Road, he saw Ferdinand make a fist gesture to imply sex and could see him saying something.

He said: "I can't make out - him either saying Bridgey (Cole made the fist gesture) or black."

He did not hear Terry say anything in reply to the goading, the court heard.

After the match, Cole was present when Terry asked Ferdinand what had happened

"I think John said 'did you think I called you a black c***, did you think I was being racist?' Then I said, 'did you think John was being racist?' Anton said, 'no, no."'

The two players then shook hands and went their separate ways.

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow, when prosecution and defence counsel are expected to make their closing speeches.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice