Terry facing 'race slur' charge
England football captain John Terry is preparing to take to the pitch after being told he will be prosecuted for allegedly racially abusing another top player.
The 31-year-old, who has been absent from training with Chelsea in recent days after suffering an Achilles problem, has been included in the squad for a London derby against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
On Wednesday, Terry learned he faces criminal charges over video footage appearing to show him shout an offensive comment at Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand. Chief London prosecutor Alison Saunders told police there was a realistic possibility of conviction surrounding claims Terry called Ferdinand a racial slur during a league match.
The multimillionaire Chelsea defender, who faces a maximum fine of £2,500 if convicted, said he was "disappointed" as the Crown Prosecution Service announced he would appear before magistrates in February accused of a racially-aggravated public order offence.
Terry, whose future as a leading international player is in doubt, added he would fight to prove his innocence: "I am disappointed with the decision to charge me and hope to be given the chance to clear my name as quickly as possible."
The player added: "I have never aimed a racist remark at anyone and count people from all races and creeds among my closest friends. 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."
Chelsea FC said in a statement that it would continue to be "fully supportive" of Terry. The club statement said: "John has made it clear he denies the charge and is determined to do all he can to prove his innocence."
Meanwhile, Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen has apologised after describing black players as "coloured" during a debate on the show.
The former Liverpool defender used the word on Wednesday night while discussing recent racism rows involving Luis Suarez and John Terry. He said: "I unreservedly apologise for any offence caused. This was never my intention and I deeply regret the use of the word."
Suarez, who plays upfront for Hansen's former club, was given an eight-match ban by the Football Association on Tuesday after being found guilty of misconduct for using insulting words to Patrice Evra which included a reference to the Manchester United defender's colour.