Arsène Wenger adopts understanding tone in John Terry race row

• Chelsea's Terry and QPR's Anton Ferdinand quizzed by FA
• 'There is so much hatred in fans' eyes' says Neil Warnock

John Terry has found an unlikely ally in Arsène Wenger as he battles to clear his name in the wake of the race-row confrontation with Anton Ferdinand.

Terry was caught on video appearing to shout a racial insult at Ferdinand during Chelsea's defeat at Queens Park Rangers last Sunday, which he has claimed was prompted by a misunderstanding. The QPR defender does not see it that way and, when he was visited by investigators from the Football Association at his club's training ground on Friday, he maintained that he wanted answers and a resolution to the affair. QPR have already made a complaint to the FA.

Terry was also interviewed by the FA on Friday and has readily co-operated as he is desperate to draw a swift line under the affair.

Wenger, whose Arsenal side visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday, said that he would want anybody found guilty of racial abuse to be punished, and that included Terry, who stands to lose the England captaincy if the FA were to find against him. Wenger knows that there are lines that cannot be crossed. But Wenger offered mitigation when he urged people to see the broader picture, which was that the football pitch is a highly charged environment in which grievous insults have long been commonplace. The heat of the moment had to be considered.

"There's a real debate about how much credit you can give to something that is said on the pitch in a passionate situation," Wenger said. "How deep do you read? If you have played football, you have said something to your friends sometimes 'You are an idiot' but you do not really think that he's an idiot. In a passionate situation inside the game, [it] doesn't mean that you can say anything but … What I mean is you are not always politically correct on the football pitch.

"I don't know what he [Terry] said and what's happening. I just feel sometimes that what's happening on the pitch is not always politically correct. It doesn't excuse it. But the debate is ... do you want every player to be followed by a camera? And analysed, completely, what he said after the game? That's what we should do, then?"

Wenger broadened the discussion to include all forms of abuse, from which he himself has suffered. "Yes, there is an issue [with the Terry-Ferdinand situation] but there is an issue of all kinds of abuse," he said. "I've worked for 15 years in England and I have been abused how many times? And that doesn't shock anybody. The media has a part to play as well.

"It is not only about racism. Any abuse. And what is done about this? Nothing. I would like to see people sitting on the seat [in the dugout] for one day and hear what people chant. You know it's completely wrong. It's the same as racism. For me it's racism anyway."

Neil Warnock, the QPR manager, agreed racism was not the only issue in terms of abuse. "The hatred that comes to managers now, around dugouts and getting out of buses … if you look in the eyes of fans, there is so much hatred about," he said. "It's frightening for kids. You bring them to matches and see that hatred. I was quite worried getting my crisps, bread and skimmed milk after the game last Sunday in the garage. I thought one guy was having a joke but he wasn't. We had to move quickly. He was a Chelsea fan."

Ferdinand spent two hours with FA investigators and he and the FA will submit formal reports next week. The situation is delicate, to say the least, and the onus would appear to be on the FA, which has reportedly asked Sky for footage from 20 cameras as part of its investigation. "There's nothing we can do," Warnock said. "The FA have made it quite clear they don't expect us to make statements and quite rightly so. Anton's stressed what he feels and we have to let that continue.

"Some things you cannot do overnight. The English justice system has to be adhered to ... it gives everyone an opportunity. Eventually, you get a decision from the higher bodies; in this case, the FA. And you abide by whatever decision they come up with. I'm sure the powers that be will come up with a decision when they have spoken to all the witnesses. Anton has spoken about the situation. With me and the FA."

Warnock said he had no thought of omitting Ferdinand from his squad that plays at Tottenham Hotspur and André Villas-Boas, the Chelsea manager, was equally categoric about Terry's selection against Arsenal.

"There is no separation," Villas-Boas said, when asked whether the issue had created rifts in the dressing room. "All of the players have been quiet about it because we know what happened. Nothing happened, so there is nothing to discuss about it."

Terry has shown the capacity in the past to put off-field issues behind him when he plays. And Wenger is worried that he will do so again. "You have some players who cannot focus any more and some, for whom playing is a good opportunity to forget about off-the-pitch problems," Wenger said. "I have had both types. I would place Terry in the second category, unfortunately."