John Terry remains unavailable for Chelsea's forthcoming trip to Leicester City after having his claim for wrongful dismissal rejected by the Football Association (FA). That unsuccessful appeal was in relation to the 67th minute of last weekend's 4-1 FA Cup third round victory over Peterborough United, when the veteran centre-back was shown a straight red card by referee Kevin Friend for a last-man foul on Posh striker Lee Angol.
Manager Antonio Conte complained after the match that the decision was incorrect and hinted strongly at an appeal, suggesting that his divisive captain "didn't deserve this". However, despite claims that the presence of defensive colleague Branislav Ivanovic did not make Terry the last man, the FA's independent regulatory commission clearly did not identify sufficient grounds to overturn the decision and the player will now serve a short ban.
"John Terry will serve a one-match suspension with immediate effect after his wrongful dismissal claim was unsuccessful, following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing," English football's governing body confirmed in a statement on Tuesday (10 January).
"The Chelsea defender was sent off for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity during The Emirates FA Cup third round tie against Peterborough United on Sunday [8 January 2017]."
Terry, who has been the recipient of three of Chelsea's last six red cards, was making only his eighth appearance of the season against League One play-off hopefuls Peterborough. Indeed, it was his first senior outing of any kind since suffering a buttock injury back in November. The 36-year-old's previous start came in October, when he was part of the team that were denied a place in the EFL Cup quarter-finals by West Ham United.
Ex-England skipper Terry would surely not have retained his starting berth against Leicester anyway, with Conte having settled on a back three comprising David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta. Competition for places in defence is only set to increase now with Kurt Zouma featuring for the first time in 11 months against Peterborough and the versatile Nathan Ake having been recalled from his loan spell at Bournemouth.
Terry's current contract is due to expire in June and reports last month suggested that he has already been informed that he will not be offered another extension. However, Chelsea subsequently insisted that talks will not take place until later in the season and Conte has reiterated that he remained an influential figure in the dressing room throughout that injury absence.
"Now we are in January," he said. "First of all, these decisions need to be made with the club, not alone. I'm pleased for John because he's shown me great commitment when I've asked him to play and also when he doesn't. He's helping me a lot in the changing room. He's proving himself to be a good player and, above all, a good man."