10:09 - Source: CNN
Racism in international football

Story highlights

Racism claims in English football must be dealt with quickly, experts tell CNN

Piara Powar and Darren Lewis say allegations surrounding John Terry are bad for game

Terry accused of a racial slur against a fellow player during English Premier League match

Chelsea and England captain Terry strongly denies the allegations

CNN  — 

English football must act swiftly to get to the bottom of racism allegations surrounding Chelsea and England captain John Terry if they are to prevent the Premier League’s reputation being tarnished.

That’s the view of Piara Powar, executive director of Football Against Racism in Europe, who told CNN that the English game could suffer if the ongoing saga isn’t resolved quickly.

Both the English Football Association (FA) and the Metropolitan Police are investigating claims that Terry aimed a racial slur at Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during an ill-tempered match last weekend.

Video footage posted online sparked controversy after it appeared to show Terry shouting a racist comment at Ferdinand after an incident in the match.

Terry has categorically denied any wrongdoing and Chelsea’s manager, Andre Villas-Boas, claimed on Friday the affair was “a big misunderstanding.”

But Powar told CNN World Sport: “With the TV coverage comes a global awareness of what’s going on in English football.

“If you look at the markets the Premier League is particularly interested in – Asia, Africa, the U.S. – these are not places that take to seeing racial abuse on the field of play amongst the assets very well.”

Darren Lewis, a journalist for English newspaper the Daily Mirror, said the FA must deliver their verdict on the case before Terry leads England into a friendly against world champions Spain next month.

He said: “We have perhaps the highest profile player in the English game at the center of an alleged player on player racial abuse incident and its not looking good for English football at the moment.

“It has to be pointed out that Terry categorically denies a racist slur but people are making their own minds up from the YouTube footage that they have seen.

“Next month we have a prestige friendly between England and Spain and the onus is on the FA is to address this and resolve it before then. If they don’t we have the prospect of the England captain appearing in that match under the cloud of racism.

“It would be a terrible thing, the entire build up and match would be dominated by it. It’s a global audience that watches the English Premier League, it’s a global audience that watches friendlies just like that one. The onus is on the FA to resolve this.”

The Terry incident comes after Manchester United’s Patrice Evra accused Liverpool’s Luis Suarez of racism in a Premier League match between the two clubs earlier in October.

Suarez has categorically denied any wrongdoing and on Friday Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish said he wanted a quick conclusion to the incident.

He told a press conference: “We would rather have it done and dusted, out in the open. Whoever is the guilty party – the person who said it or the accuser – [should] get their due punishment.”