Chelsea captain John Terry was given a four-match ban by the English Football Association (FA) after being found guilty of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand on Thursday.
An FA statement said an independent regulatory commission had issued a suspension for a period of four matches and a fine of $356,722 pending appeal.
Terry has 14 days from receiving the written reasons for the decision to lodge an appeal against a decision relating to an incident that took place during Chelsea’s match away to QPR at Loftus Road on October 23 last year.
The ban will not come into force until the appeals procedure is complete.
In the short term, that means central defender Terry, who played in the 6-0 English League Cup rout of Wolves on Tuesday, is available for Chelsea’s Premier League match away to London rivals Arsenal on Saturday.
Terry’s representatives said he was “disappointed” by the decision and would consider his position before deciding whether to appeal.
Their statement said: “Mr Terry is disappointed that the FA Regulatory Commission has reached a different conclusion to the clear not guilty verdict of a court of law.
“He has asked for the detailed written reasons of the decision and will consider them carefully before deciding whether to lodge an appeal.”
European champions Chelsea responded to Thursday’s verdict by saying: “Chelsea Football Club notes and respects today’s decision by the Football Association regarding John Terry.
“We also recognise that John has the right to appeal that decision. It is therefore inappropriate for us to comment further on the matter at this time. The FA’s statement said the commission had found a charge of misconduct against Terry “proven”.
It added the FA had charged Terry on Friday, July 27, with using “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Queens Park Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand and which included a reference to colour and/or race contrary to FA Rule E3 (2)”.
The statement explained the charge was placed on hold pending the outcome of the criminal trial.
Former England skipper Terry, 31, was cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand in a criminal case in July over allegations relating to the same incident.
Terry dramatically announced his retirement from international football on Sunday, the day before what turned out to be a four-day hearing started.
He effectively accused the FA of forcing his hand after the governing body pressed on with charges following the court case.
“I feel the FA, in pursuing charges against me where I have already been cleared in a court of law, have made my position with the national team untenable,” he said in a statement issued last week.
Terry had hoped his courtroom acquittal would be the end of the matter, as the FA’s rule book states that the result of any previous legal action concerning the same matter will be “presumed to be correct”.
He admitted in court that he used racist language against Ferdinand but said he was merely repeating what he believed Ferdinand had accused him of saying.
But the panel who gave Liverpool striker Luis Suarez an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra last season, said just using racist language was enough to constitute a breach of FA rules.
However, the fact Terry’s ban is only half the length of that given to Uruguay’s Suarez could see the FA facing accusations of double standards.