Anton Ferdinand ‘fell out of love with the game’ after John Terry incident as new documentary reveals Twitter abuse and lack of support from governing bodies

Anton Ferdinand has admitted he ‘fell out of love with the game’ after the high-profile racism incident involving John Terry.

An independent disciplinary panel found the former England captain guilty of racially abusing Ferdinand, brother of Rio, during a Premier League match between QPR and Chelsea in October 2011.

The incident had a long-lasting effect on Ferdinand

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The incident had a long-lasting effect on Ferdinand

Subsequently, the Football Association banned Terry, who was accused of calling the ex-QPR defender a ‘f***ing black c***’ for four matches and fined him £220,000.

The new documentary, ’Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism and Me’, airs on BBC One on Monday night and Ferdinand hopes it results in governing bodies handling similar situations differently in the future.

He told Monday’s talkSPORT Breakfast: “The documentary covers most of the court case, but also the deeper issues in terms of the ripple effects an incident can have on someone.

“Not just them, but their family, their loved ones… letting people know that one incident can shape someone’s future.

“While making the documentary and watching it back, I learned how much of a problem it was for me, mentally. I was receiving social media abuse for longer than two years.

“It will just show people the ripple effects of an incident and how the FA, the PFA, the Premier League can come together on how not to deal with a situation if it ever arises again.”

Asked by Watford striker Troy Deeney if making the documentary had been therapeutic for him, Ferdinand replied: “I didn’t go into this documentary thinking it was going to be therapeutic.

Terry was found not guilty of the alleged offence in a court of law

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Terry was found not guilty of the alleged offence in a court of law

“My message is very clear in the documentary, this is about positive change, this is about the next generation.

“For people to understand that, they need to understand firstly what it is I actually went through. It was that for me more than anything.

“I made it very clear to the BBC from the start, if this is a documentary where it’s Anton vs John Terry then I don’t want to be part of it.

“But if it’s something that’s going to give education to people on how not to deal with an incident like mine then I’m part of it because I’m all about positive change.

“It wasn’t until I started doing the documentary and watching it back I realised how therapeutic it was for me.

“I’ve had psychological things, especially since my mum passed away, that was subconsciously there. I was fighting with it, but I didn’t know what I was fighting with.

“Being able to do it and watch it back, it brought the subconscious thoughts to the forefront. So I was actually able to deal with them.

“That’s where it’s been therapeutic for me. I can move on. As much as I’m saying I move on, this is the start for me in terms of creating positive change.”

Terry’s punishment came 11 months after the incident

AFP – Getty

Terry’s punishment came 11 months after the incident

Ferdinand revealed the incident had a damaging effect on his relationship with football.
After leaving QPR in 2013, he has had spells with Antalyaspor in Turkey, Reading, Southend and most recently Scottish side St Mirren.

Ferdinand added: “It really did affect my relationship [with football].

“I’m a young boy from Peckham who grew up on the council estate commentating while the ball was at my feet, being a player like John Barnes.

“I lived my dream of playing in the Premier League. I played in it for 11 years and all of a sudden that was taken away from me. I fell out of love with the game. I still love playing it.

“But I hated what football stood for. That’s part of the ripple effects of what happened. The social media abuse, the lack of support from the governing bodies and my peers around me.


“I’d say people at my football club at the time were very good. The fan base of clubs I played for were very, very good.

“People outside of that, the support wasn’t there for me. It made me fall out of love with the game and I hated what it stood for.

“But I’m happy to say that towards the end of my career, my love for the game came back so I got to experience that love again to the full effect.



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