Roberto Di Matteo: John Terry affair has damaged Chelsea's image

Manager recognises captain 'has let himself down' and 'left a cloud over the club'

Roberto Di Matteo admitted for the first time yesterday that John Terry's abuse of Anton Ferdinand had damaged Chelsea's image.

Chelsea have taken action against Terry – although they will not say precisely what – after their captain accepted his Football Association ban and fine for racial abuse. The Chelsea manager yesterday spoke more openly about the issue than he has ever done before.

"Certainly it put a little bit of a cloud over the image of the club," Di Matteo said. "Certainly the image of the club has suffered from this issue. There's no denying that. I think [Terry] realises he let himself down and the club in that moment."

Di Matteo insisted, though, that he did not have any regrets for the support the club showed Terry over the past year, through his trial at which he was acquitted which preceded the FA's independent regulatory commission.

"We have followed the legal process and supported our player," Di Matteo said. "There was a legal process. He was cleared in a magistrates' court, you have to take that into consideration. We couldn't comment, not to prejudice the outcome."

Although Di Matteo would not speak of the details of Chelsea's punishment for Terry, it is not thought to have extended to stripping Terry of the captaincy. The defender is suspended for the next four domestic games, starting this afternoon at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, but he is set to lead out Chelsea at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Di Matteo said that he continues to hold Terry in high regard as a player. "He's part of our squad and has been a great servant over 555 games," he explained. "He's made a mistake, let himself and the club down. He's done a lot of good work as well."

There was no doubt for Di Matteo that Terry was still the embodiment of Chelsea. "If you judge him as a player, absolutely. Over the years what he has proved and done for the club."

When asked whether he had a responsibility to judge on more than just football ability, Di Matteo said no. "It is not for me to judge the whole package," he said. "I'm a manager, not a judge of people's lives. I judge on what I see on the training ground and pitch. That is what the job has to be about."

Future decisions on Terry's selection will be made on football grounds. "It will be my judgement on the player," Di Matteo said. "If I do decide to select him it is because it is appropriate to select him for the team. And as captain."

There are clearly no worries from Di Matteo that Terry will continue to play well after his ban. Just last month he praised the defender's mental strength and resilience, comparing him to some greats of the modern game. "If you look at his career he's always got on with it, he's a confident player," Di Matteo said about picking Terry for Chelsea's return to Loftus Road.

"I played with some great players in my career. There were certain players who were very, very confident. To be able to survive for so many years at the top level in football, at club and international level, you need to be mentally strong. Paolo Maldini, Angelo Peruzzi, Pierluigi Casiraghi, Alessandro Costacurta, Alessandro Del Piero, all players who have spent 15 to 20 years at the highest level, domestic and international football."

Di Matteo made clear that he does not believe Chelsea's anti-racism stance has been compromised, despite criticism. "We are taking action against our player," he said. "We feel it's appropriate action, as we do against supporters. We don't feel we're operating differently."

The issue of racism, Di Matteo said, went beyond merely football's powers to control. "You need to look at more long-term than one game," he said. "There is a wider problem than just football. It is a societal problem we are discussing here. Not just football. We all live in society and need to do more to respect each other and educate everyone towards respecting other ethnic groups. It is a problem in society, not just football."

Chequered career: Terry's highs and lows

The good:

August 2004 Named Chelsea captain by Jose Mourinho and leads club to first league title in 50 years.

April 2005 Voted PFA Player of the Year.

August 2006 Named England captain by new manager Steve McClaren.

July 2009 Named Uefa defender of the year for a third time.

May 2010 Captains Chelsea to the Double under Carlo Ancelotti.

December 2011 Leads side for club record 400th time in defeat against Aston Villa.

The bad:

Nov 2006 Sent-off in 2-1 defeat at Tottenham. Fined £10,000 for questioning integrity of referee Graham Poll.

Feb 2007 Left unconscious on field after being kicked in head by Arsenal's Abou Diaby in League Cup final.

May 2008 Misses penalty in Champions League final shoot-out defeat to Manchester United in Moscow.

April 2012 Dismissed in Champions League semi-final win against Barcelona – misses final.

Sept 2012 Retires from international football.

The ugly:

Sept 2001 Fined two weeks' wages after drunkenly mocking American tourists at Heathrow in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York.

Jan 2002 Involved in incident with bouncer at West London nightclub. Later cleared of assault and affray. Fined for parking car in disabled bay.

Feb 2002 Caught on CCTV urinating into beer glass in Essex nightclub.

Jan 2010 Fails to obtain court injunction stopping reports of alleged affair with ex-team-mate Wayne Bridge's former partner. Stripped of England captaincy.

June 2010 Criticises Fabio Capello's regime during World Cup.

Oct 2011 Accused of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. Found not guilty in court case, but banned for four matches by FA.

The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
James Argent from Towie is missing, police say
newsTV star had been reported missing
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
Life and Style
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone