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Hodgson comments branded ‘foolish’ as he backs Terry

Roy Hodgson has invoked the ire of anti-racism campaigner Piara Powar after the England manager expressed his desire to see John Terry “freed” of his FA disciplinary charge.

Terry is charged with having used "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" during a Premier League clash with Anton Ferdinand when Chelsea played QPR in October of last year.

The 31-year-old Chelsea defender was cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand by Westminster Magistrates Court on July 13.

However, the FA subsequently brought its own charges against Terry, citing an alleged "reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Ferdinand".

Hodgson, speaking on the eve of his side’s friendly against Italy in Bern, was initially reluctant to discuss the former England captain’s current situation.

Case to answer
"It's a matter which is really, as far as I am concerned, working for the FA, sub judice,” he said.

"Everything I say can be misinterpreted - as far as I am concerned he has a case to answer with the FA and I'll wait and see what happens."

But Hodgson did not leave things there, later adding: "All I can do like many of his supporters, I suppose, is just hope he gets freed and can continue to play."

Piara Powar, executive director of Football Against Racism, criticised the comments, which come in advance Terry’s FA hearing next month.

"Hodgson's comments on Terry are foolish. It is not helpful to the process the FA has undertaken in any way.

FA's dual role
"The England manager is employed by the FA, who have a dual role in running the national team and being the governing body. Whatever support Roy Hodgson wants to give to a member of his squad, he also has to remember the FA's wider role.

"For the England coach to go public with his view like this calls into question that dual function."

Powar was not the only person critical of Hodgson, with former England manager Graham Taylor also voicing concern.

“I was surprised Roy said that. He shouldn't be getting involved in commenting until the second decision has been reached. I'm surprised he made any reference whatsoever."

Although the Magistrates' Court prosecution had to prove Terry’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the FA decision will operate “on the balance of probabilities".

By Andrew Wade

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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