Chelsea silent over speculation John Terry has been stripped of the captaincy

 

Chelsea have refused to confirm that John Terry remains the club's captain following internal discipline over his racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand.

Terry announced yesterday that he would not appeal against the FA's punishment of a four-match ban and fine of £220,000 for calling Ferdinand a "f**kcing black c**t" during a match in October last year.

The former England captain also made an apology of sorts through a pre-prepared statement that read: "I want to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone for the language I used in the game."

Shortly after Terry's announcement, Chelsea revealed they had taken internal disciplinary action against the 31-year-old - although the sanctions would "remain confidential".

There has been speculation that the discipline could, and perhaps should, include stripping Terry of the Chelsea armband. If they did, it would be the third time in Terry's career that he has been removed as captain, having twice been disposed of the armband when playing for England.

During today's press conference ahead of tomorrow's London derby against Tottenham, manager Roberto Di Matteo refused to be drawn on the subject.

"We do not discuss publicly the disciplinary matters we take against our players. They remain confidential. You will have to wait and see," Di Matteo said.

"They are internal matters, the action we take against our players, and we are not going to discuss it."

In terms of a fine, it cannot have exceeded two weeks wages, a figure which would amount to around £320,000. Any fines above that amount have to be cleared by the Professional Footballers' Association but Chelsea did not consult with the body.

There has been strong criticism of Chelsea's decision to keep silent on the matter with Lord Ouseley, the chairman of anti-racism body Kick It Out, claiming that for such a public figure and public offence, Chelsea should reveal their decision if they want to regain some of the credibility lost in the fallout from the affair.

"I believe Chelsea need to be open about the action they have taken," Lord Ouseley said. "A lot of people will be dissatisfied that Chelsea have not been much more up front about the standards they set and the values they have."

"If they are not prepared to say, it will further damage the trust of those people who still have suspicions about Chelsea's sincerity in dealing with this matter. I do welcome what they have said, but they need to be saying more and doing more if they are going to win back the confidence of people who have lost trust in them rather than to sit back and be silent."

A Chelsea club spokesman, sitting alongside Di Matteo at today's press conference, said: "We recognise and appreciate people will want to know.

"But it is our right as an organisation with the disciplinary process we have, it is a personnel matter, it is an HR (human resources) matter, and many organisations deal with it in the same way and we feel that dealing with it as a confidential matter is the way we should continue to go forward."

Whether Terry remains captain should become clear on Tuesday when Chelsea play Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, a competition the defender remains eligible to play in.

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