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Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt: 'Football swearing has gone too far'

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John Terry, court, racially-aggravated public order offence trial, Westminster Magistrates Court, London

© Rex Features / Beretta/Sims/Rex Features

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that swearing on the football pitch has "gone too far" and that more should be done to tackle the problem.

Hunt was speaking after former England captain John Terry was cleared of a racially aggravated public order offence on Friday (July 13) at Westminster Magistrates Court.

It was alleged that he had called fellow footballer Anton Ferdinand a racial slur during a foul-mouthed exchange between the two players on October 23 last year.

The trial exposed the extent of foul language used by some footballers during matches, leading to widespread condemnation from the public over the bad example this could set to young people.

Speaking today on ITV1's Daybreak, Hunt said that he had personally experienced the problem because he is a qualified footballer referee.

"I've been at the receiving end of it and I do think that it has gone too far," he said.

"I would like to see the football authorities do more because I think we just have to recognise that football has huge influence on thousands and thousands of young people and we do need footballers to set an example."

After the John Terry trial, Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand was also forced to deny accusations of racism over a term he used in a tweet about Chelsea player Ashley Cole.

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