Chelsea and England star John Terry to face court over racist abuse claim
The England football captain John Terry will appear in court to face criminal charges over allegations that he racially abused an opposing player during a Premier League game.
In camera footage not originally broadcast, Terry appeared to use obscene and racially abusive language to Anton Ferdinand, brother of his England colleague Rio, in a match in October.
Terry, who is captain of Chelsea, will appear at West London Magistrates’ Court on February 1 next year, where he will face a maximum fine of £2,500.
Alison Saunders, Chief Crown Prosecutor for London, said: “I have today advised the Metropolitan Police Service that John Terry should be prosecuted for a racially aggravated public order offence following comments allegedly made during a Premier League football match between Queen's Park Rangers and Chelsea on 23 October 2011.
“I am satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute this case.”
The Chelsea defender said he was “disappointed” and vowed to clear his name.
“I have never aimed a racist remark at anyone and count people from all races and creeds among my closest friends,” he said in a statement.
“I will fight tooth and nail to prove my innocence. I have campaigned against racism and believe there is no place for it in society.” Terry has admitted shouting the phrase “****ing black ****”, but in the footage, his preceding words are obscured as fellow Chelsea player Ashley Cole walks past the camera.
The Chelsea star maintains he was trying to explain to Anton Ferdinand that he hadn't called him such a thing in an earlier exchange.
At the time of the controversy, Terry said: “I would never say such a thing, and I'm saddened that people would think so.”