Skip to main content

Mourinho defends Terry in racism case

September 28, 2012 -- Updated 0813 GMT (1613 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Real Madrid boss backs Terry following FA punishment
  • Terry captained Mourinho's Chelsea side to the Premier League title on two occasions
  • Real Madrid insists Terry 'is not a racist'
  • Mourinho says he has never felt racism in the dressing room

(CNN) -- Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has launched a staunch defense of John Terry declaring: "He is not a racist."

Chelsea captain Terry was handed a four-match ban and a $356,000 fine by the English Football Association on Thursday after being found guilty of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.

Terry, who captained Mourinho's Chelsea to consecutive Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006, remains close friends with the Portuguese manager, who is now Real Madrid's coach, following their successful time at Stamford Bridge.

Football pioneer on racist abuse
'It's Not Black & White'

Terry retires from England amid racism case

"He is not a racist," Mourinho told CNN in an exclusive interview.

"That's 100%. Chelsea had a squad where we had 12 African players in the squad. It was a fantastic squad and he had always a great relation with every one of them."

While defending Terry, Mourinho insisted the FA had been right to punish Terry.

"But in football it can happen, and I know it can happen, that during a football match -- because sometimes it's more than a game -- sometimes you have reactions that don't represent what you are really.

"Probably, he had a racist comment or a "racist" attitude against an opponent and, sometimes in football, we look to our opponents in the wrong way. But to pay, he has to be punished.

Racism remains "significant" problem in English football

"But please, don't say that he is a racist, because I know what I am saying. Didier Drogba will say, Geremi will say, Claude Makelele will say, all of them will say that he is not a racist."

The incident involving Terry is the second high-profile case of racist abuse on the football field following the incident between Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Manchester United's Patrice Evra last year.

The Liverpool striker was banned for eight matches and fined $65,000 after being found guilty of misconduct, regarding "using insulting words towards" Evra during the game at Anfield on October 15 2011.

Soccer's 'Three Degrees'
Laureus panel discusses racism

And asked whether he though there is still racism in football, Mourinho replied: "I never felt it. Never. In a dressing room, I have never felt it and I've always had African players in every one of my teams."

Terry's punishment comes just days after he announced his retirement from international football, claiming that the FA had made his position within the national team 'untenable'.

In July the 31-year-old defender had been found not guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

However the FA requires a lower burden of proof than an English court and it took the decision to bring Terry before its disciplinary system.

Terry found guilty in racism case

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
CNN Football Club
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
Dutch football team head coach Louis van Gaal (L) and Dutch's assistant coach Patrick Kluivert (R) look on before a friendly football match between Belgium and Netherlands in Brussels on August 15, 2012.
Should the Manchester United board have insisted upon a more radical overhaul of the club's football operation when Alex Ferguson stepped down?
April 23, 2014 -- Updated 1326 GMT (2126 HKT)
Sunday Oliseh plays for NIgeria at the 1998 World Cup in France.
When Sunday Oliseh was a young boy, he never dreamed he would one day carry the hopes of 170 million people on football's biggest stage.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
The 1989 Hillsborough stadium tragedy, which claimed 96 lives, brought the red and the blue halves of Liverpool together.
CNN's Don Riddell says the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy has caused irreparable damage to the families of the 96 victims and the survivors.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
The Champions league trophy stands on show during the draw for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions league at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon on March 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO/FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Two European heavyweights will collide in the Champions League semifinals after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were drawn together in Switzerland.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
West Bromwich Albion's French striker Nicolas Anelka looks on during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England, on January 1, 2014.
England prides itself on being the home of football, but is the nation dysfunctional in dealing with racist abuse?
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)
In a city where football is a religion, Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge is fast becoming a deity.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
Neymar
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
ADVERTISEMENT