Sir Alex Ferguson has labelled John Terry's four-match ban "quite lenient" after he was found guilty of airing a racial slur by the Football Association.
Terry, who was also fined £220,000, is now considering whether to appeal the suspension after a four-day hearing concluded his use of the term "f****** black c***" was regarded as "using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour which "included a reference to colour and/or race".
Luis Suárez, who missed eight matches last season after he repeatedly called Patrice Evra "negro" during Liverpool's home match against Manchester United, was cited by Ferguson when he aired his surprise.
"There is a danger of it resurrecting itself because it has been going on so long," Ferguson said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's tea-time fixture at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
"But the fact he got a four-game ban, he may consider that is quite lenient considering Luis Suárez got eight. It is time to move on and so should the game."
Terry, who had trials with United as a schoolboy, could be absent for Chelsea's Premier League clash with United depending on when his ban will commence and/or whether he will appeal the decision.
Should he do so, he would avoid the probable embarrassment of being snubbed by a third opponent during the pre-match handshakes. Rio Ferdinand has refused to speak to his former international team-mate and Terry was injured when United played at Stamford Bridge in February.
Ferdinand's brother Anton reiterated on Twitter yesterday he "does not lie" after Terry had been cleared by Westminster Magistrates' Court in July.
Ferguson, when asked whether Terry's international retirement could pave the way for Rio's return to the international fold, admitted it would be "difficult".
England coach Roy Hodgson controversially overlooked Ferdinand in favour of Terry for the European Championship, stating "football reasons" were behind his omission. However Hodgson's disturbing remark he "hoped" Terry would be cleared of his FA charge may have reduced the possibility of of Ferdinand ending his exile.
"Roy Hodgson made his decision before the European Championship and I can't see him changing that," Ferguson opined.
"It would be difficult for him now to go back to Rio Ferdinand and welcome him back."
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