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For a short while, it appeared that the world of football was cleaning-up its act.

Gone were the days when players who were not white could expect a barracking from fans and players alike.

You know it wasn’t that long ago when bananas were thrown on the field when a player who was not white was present.

Today’s Magistrates Court ruling has turned back the clock.

John Terry swears that he is not a racist, and there was no evidence presented in the case to show that he was lying about that.

However, the words he used during that volatile exchange were, and for some reason Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle concluded that it was ‘highly unlikely’  that the Chelsea and England defender had abused Anton Ferdinand in the way he was accused of.

Apparently, the prosecution evidence had not been strong enough.

Of course, the Football Association is to make its own ruling, where it is said the burden of proof is lower, as their’s will be a civil ruling, it will be down to the balance of probabilities.

So, that’s alright then.

This is not the first time, English courts have made decisions that are at best wholly unsatisfactory.

Remember, the case involving Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate, who were cleared by an all-white jury of an attack on an Asian teenager.

In that case, the possible racial element to this attack was not even a factor.

Intent, it is said, is difficult to prove.

When a player is caught on camera calling his colleague a Black C**t, is that really the case?