Blues off the hook over Terry’s or­ches­trated good­bye

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: The Premier League will not in­ves­ti­gate the ab­surd spec­ta­cle on Sun­day when Sun­der­land, Chelsea and John Terry col­luded to let the depart­ing Blues cap­tain be sub­sti­tuted af­ter 26 min­utes — the same num­ber he wears on his shirt.

The idea is be­lieved to have come from Terry and both man­agers agreed to the farce.

Sun­der­land goal­keeper Jor­dan Pick­ford kicked the ball out in the 26th minute af­ter be­ing re­minded to do so by a Chelsea player.

It took Terry two min­utes to leave the field as his team­mates gave him a guard of hon­our, which meant he did not go off un­til the 28th minute.

Crit­ics sug­gested the ar­range­ment was akin to a spot-fix­ing stunt but the Premier League said Terry had not bro­ken any rules.

Bet­ting ex­perts said that even if there had been a gam­ble on a 26th-minute sub­sti­tu­tion, book­mak­ers would not pay out for such a con­trived event.

Sun­der­land boss David Moyes said: “Diego Costa asked Jor­dan to kick the ball out. We knew it was hap­pen­ing.”

Terry is not the first to have this treat­ment in his fi­nal game as Di­dier Drogba’s fi­nale at Stam­ford Bridge set a prece­dent.

The Ivo­rian was car­ried off the turf in the 30th minute of his last game to re­ceive the ac­claim of the crowd. Daily Mail

REUTERS PIC

Mid­dles­brough’s Ge­orge Friend (left) and Liver­pool’s Emre Can vie for the ball at An­field on Sun­day.

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