Game clean-up could cause mayhem
Updated Saturday, 14th July 2012
Professional Footballers' Association chairman Clarke Carlisle is prepared for a period of "mayhem" in football if it helps the game clean up its act in the wake of the John Terry court case.
Terry was acquitted of a racially aggravated public order offence by chief magistrate Howard Riddle at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday. But the case drew attention to the wider issue of players' contact to each other, with Ferdinand acknowledging in his evidence that aside from the racial aspect, the other terms of abuse are routinely exchanged between players on the pitch.
"I think generally there is a very high level of abusive language that goes on on the pitch and it just seems to be par for the course, but I don't agree that it should be that way," Carlisle said.
"In order to change it it would take a very strong line from the referees, a very strong line from the governing bodies and it would probably cause mayhem for the short-term period."
Terry could still face charges from within the game as the Football Association continue to investigate the incident.
An FA spokesman said after the verdict: "The FA notes the decision in the John Terry case and will now seek to conclude its own inquiries."
FIFA's Laws of the Game list "using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures" as a sending-off offence and, if their use is as widespread as suggested in Ferdinand's evidence, there would be fears of games regularly being abandoned due to teams dropping below seven players should each incident be punished in such a fashion.
Carlisle added on BBC Radio Five Live: "I think if we were to adopt a line of social responsibility, because sport is so influential, especially football that's watched by hundreds of millions on a weekly basis, it would create a short-term period of mayhem.
"But I think if players were being sent off and banned because of the language that they are using then it would cause them to address their behaviour and it would cause the clubs to come down on it too."