Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant has insisted John Terry is not a racist, despite the Blues captain facing an FA charge for allegedly racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
The 31-year-old was found not guilty of a criminal charge of the same nature at Westminster Magistrates Court in July, but he will still be subject to scrutiny from an FA panel. The lesser burden of proof required by the panel means it must only prove Terry used racist language on the "balance of probabilities" rather than the "beyond reasonable doubt" measure used by a court of law.
But, following Terry's retirement from international soccer over the matter, Grant insists the English soccer governing body should throw the charge out.
"Nobody thinks that John Terry is a racist, so the FA need to leave it," Grant told BBC Radio 5 Live. "John likes to fight, and he's very passionate about the national team so I was surprised.
"But he's not a child, he knows what he's doing. One thing I must say about JT is that he's not a racist, that's for sure. He's a good man. He respects everybody, he's good with people and I was very surprised that people thought bad things about him."
While Grant believes it is important for the FA to send a clear message that racism is unacceptable in soccer, the Israeli manager also insisted it has no case against the former England captain.
"If [the FA] think JT is racist, they need to do something, but I think nobody thinks he is a guy like this," Grant said. "I think the message was clear, and I don't think they need to charge him. For the FA, the more important thing is the message that it will not have racism in sport."