Monday, September 24, 2012


John Terry was not forced to quit England over his racism hearing, the FA claimed on the first day of his Wembley hearing.

Terry announced he was quitting the international scene in a statement on Sunday night, claiming the FA's decision to pursue a case against him after he was cleared in court of racially abusing Ferdinand made his position in the national team 'untenable'.

He arrived at Wembley shortly before 9am and went in through a side entrance. Ferdinand then headed into the stadium shortly afterwards. Terry's QC George Carter-Stephenson arrived earlier in the morning.

As manager Roy Hodgson paid tribute to departing Terry, FA general secretary Alex 

Horne revealed they are mystified by his decision to retire from international football.

Horne insisted the disciplinary hearing over Terry's racism charge was entirely separate to his England prospects.

Terry left the hearing at around 3pm on Monday afternoon having spent six hours at the FA headquarters and Anton Ferdinand has also gone home for the day.

An FA statement read: 'Following his announcement that he is retiring from the England team, The FA would like to thank John Terry for all of his efforts with the national team over the past decade. During his 78 appearances John has always given his full commitment to the team.'

Terry could face a lengthy ban if found guilty by the FA of using racist language during a match for Chelsea against QPR on October 23 last year, but has taken any decision over his England future out of its hands. Terry has categorically denied racially abusing Ferdinand.

Weeks have already been spent in legal argument. The reason such time has elapsed since Terry’s charge is that his counsel have been challenging the make-up of the panel. 

Only the chairman is the FA’s man. The rest are independents, including former Blackburn Rovers midfield player Stuart Ripley. He works as a solicitor for Brabners Chaffe Street, based in the north-west.

The Chelsea captain dramatically called time on his 78-cap England international career after becoming convinced that the FA are determined to find him guilty of the offence.

The 31-year-old was cleared of the same charge in July at Westminster Magistrates Court following an investigation into his Loftus Road row with the QPR defender last October.

But his acquittal prompted the FA to open their own hearing where the charge includes 'reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Ferdinand'.

It is understood that the FA's failure to acknowledge their rule 6.8,  which says the outcome and evidence of any civil or criminal court trial should be regarded as the correct version of events, was the final straw for the Blues' defender.

His relationship with the governing body has deteriorated to such an extent he felt unable to continue as an England player.

He has felt increasingly isolated by the FA’s stance in recent weeks and there have been several days of legal argument that have convinced him his position is untenable.

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