UEFA Champions League: John Terry Might Wear Anti-Racism Armband

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterOctober 22, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29:  Chelsea's John Terry acknowledges the fans after Chelsea defeats Arsenal at the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on September 29, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Irony, thy name is UEFA.

How else to explain the coincidental intersection of fates this week of European football's governing body, its latest humanitarian initiative and the captain of the continent's most recent club champions?

What does that mean? Well, apparently John Terry might be asked to wear an anti-racism armband this week. Yes, the same John Terry who last week accepted a four-match domestic ban for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a match last year.

Utterly random coincidence? Of course. But also a development entirely worthy of snickering and withering scorn? Oh yeah.

The armband business relates back to UEFA's involvement with FARE, a European anti-discrimination organization (the acronym stands for Football Against Racism in Europe) that aims to "develop a common strategy against racism and xenophobia."

To that end, UEFA will be asking all club captains to wear an armband with the words "Unite Against Racism" during this week's 40 Champions League and Europa League matches. Terry, Chelsea's captain, is expected to play in the Blues' match at Shakhtar, as his ban only affects domestic matches.

Terry, 31, is set to remain Chelsea captain (via ESPN FC) even after this latest controversy, and that means we're likely to see one strange sight this week in the Champions League: A club captain wearing an anti-racism armband while concurrently serving a domestic ban for racially abusing an opponent.

Try wrapping your mind around that one.

From The Guardian:

UEFA said in a statement: "Every team will be accompanied on to the pitch by children wearing Unite Against Racism T-shirts and the captains will be asked to wear a Unite Against Racism branded armband."

The campaign will be promoted at 40 matches across the Champions League and Europa League this week, with films broadcast on giant screens and special announcements made on stadium loudspeakers to encourage fans to join UEFA in its call to unite against racism in football.

It's just a guess, but that message might be undermined somewhat by Terry's involvement.