sot mourinho on john terry _00000229
Mourinho: John Terry is not a racist
01:32 - Source: CNN

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.

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.

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