Di Matteo avoids Terry question
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo admitted John Terry had tarnished the image of the club but refused to confirm whether he remains captain.
Terry was banned for four matches and fined £220,000 after an independent Football Association regulatory commission found him guilty of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. The former England defender accepted the sanction on Thursday and issued an apology for the language he used in the match at Loftus Road on October 23 last year.
"It has certainly put a cloud over the image of the club," Di Matteo said. "We have done many good things as well and it is a shame we cannot talk more about football, which is our priority."
Chelsea have also taken internal disciplinary action against Terry, which is understood to have been a fine, but the details are being kept confidential. Terry is understood to have been told he will continue as Chelsea captain - but Di Matteo would not make that decision public.
He added: "We do not discuss publicly the disciplinary matters we take against our players. They remain confidential. You will have to wait and see (whether he is captain)."
Terry's Barclays Premier League ban begins on Saturday, when Chelsea face Tottenham, but he is available for the Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.
Chelsea have come under fire from Lord Herman Ouseley, chairman of football's equality group Kick It Out, for keeping the details of Terry's punishment secret. The club have also been accused of double standards after a supporter was banned from Stamford Bridge for life for racially abusing former Blues striker Didier Drogba.
Di Matteo insisted the action being taken against Terry was "appropriate" before a Chelsea spokesman, sitting alongside him, explained there was no contradiction.
"People have highlighted a particular case of a supporter who is getting a lifetime ban for racist abuse of Didier Drogba," the spokesman said. "He received the lifetime ban because he was successfully prosecuted in court as a result of a criminal prosecution."
He added: "But it is our right as an organisation with the disciplinary process we have, it is a personnel matter, it is an HR (human resources) matter, and many organisations deal with it in the same way and we feel that dealing with it as a confidential matter is the way we should continue to go forward."