Racism row: Les Ferdinand says FA has let down black players

Former England striker Les Ferdinand says the Football Association let black players down by failing to suspend John Terry for more than four games.

Ferdinand says the Chelsea captain's ban should have at least mirrored that of Liverpool's Luis Suarez.

Terry was banned for four matches and fined £220,000 for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, while Suarez received eight matches for abusing Patrice Evra.

"The FA have let a lot of black people down," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Well, every black person who is interested in football," he added.

Former England captain Terry, 31, admitted using the word "black" and swearing at Anton - who is Les's cousin - in the match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road in October 2011.

Terry insisted he had only been repeating words he thought Anton had accused him of saying and was cleared by Westminster Magistrates' Court of racial abuse in July.

However, he was found guilty by an independent FA commission in September.

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Former QPR, Newcastle and Tottenham striker Les, 45, said: "I've wrestled with 'is John Terry a racist?' What John Terry did was make a racist comment - and you have to suffer the consequences of that.

"If you drink and get your in car and get caught by the police you have to suffer the consequences of that. Whatever it may be.

"It may be the first time, but if you get caught you have to suffer the consequences of that.

"By the FA banning Suarez for eight games... you have to suffer the consequences of your actions."

Terry decided not to appeal against his four-game ban and issued an apology for his actions. He has always denied being a racist.

Suarez was given a £40,000 fine by the FA in addition to his eight-game ban when he clashed with Manchester United defender Evra at Anfield last season.

Stoke City striker Cameron Jerome said he also believed the FA had been lenient with Terry.

"They acted quickly with the Luis Suarez case, giving him the fine and ban, and they showed a good stance on that one. But with John Terry a lot of people feel quite disappointed and quite angry actually.

"I [felt angry] myself, just as a human being, that they treated him differently than Luis Suarez with him being the England captain.

"The biggest issue people have is the sanctions being handed out and they don't seem to be as strong as they should be. It's like people are taking racism too lightly and trying to brush it under the carpet."

Former Brentford and Torquay manager Leroy Rosenior advocated life bans for racial abuse, adding: "The FA have let down the whole of society, not just black players.

"A lot of people are ashamed of what's gone on, no matter their colour. It's fine for the FA to say it was an independent inquiry, but it didn't get the proper result.

"It depends how good a player you are what type of punishment you get - [Terry is] still Chelsea captain. We need zero tolerance. We need people to know that if you do this you are banned for life.

"Do that a couple of times and people will sort their life out."