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Tougher stance needed on racism

Grenada’s international footballer and English Premier League player Jason Roberts is set to boycott this weekend’s Kick It Out initiative in protest at a perceived lack of action on racism in England.

The Reading striker will refuse to wear the campaign’s T-shirt after accusing the authorities of lacking “the stomach” to take a strong stand on the issue.

Roberts, born in Britain but whose father is from Grenada and mother from French Guiana, believes John Terry’s four-game ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand is “nowhere near what people expect” and says it is down to players to take a lead.

“It seems like the authorities don’t have the stomach to take this on, and if the players don’t take it on then nobody will,” he said.

A number of players, among them Aston Villa’s and Reading’s, are thought to be considering whether to join Roberts in boycotting the anti-racism campaign’s annual

week of action. And in the meantime Roberts has called on Chelsea to come down hard on their captain after a club statement confirmed Terry is facing internal disciplinary action. Roberts said: “You know we’ve sat and we’ve spoken about the Serbian FA and their view of what happened out there with the England Under-21s and how you have to take responsibility.

“I think for a club like Chelsea, if you find yourself in the middle of this, you have to be seen to be doing the correct thing and the correct thing is to be taking action against someone who has done something like that in the game.

“If you used that sort of language in the workplace, what sanction would you expect to be given? I don’t know. You say about fans saying it on the sidelines and what would happen to them?

“Certainly a four-game ban is nowhere near what people would expect for something like this. I guess it’s up to Chelsea to do what’s right.”

Today Terry issued an apology and decided not to appeal his four-game ban and £220,000 fine for racially abusing Ferdinand. Terry had until 6 p.m. today to contest the punishment handed out by an independent FA regulatory commission.

But in a statement issued by his representatives Elite Management, Terry revealed he was unhappy with the FA judgment but had decided to serve his suspension.

“After careful consideration, I have decided not to appeal against the FA judgment,” he said.

“I want to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone for the language I used in the game against Queens Park Rangers last October,” he said, noting it would not happen again. (Sky)

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