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Terry to face 'race slur' charge

England football captain John Terry has vowed to clear his name after being told he will be prosecuted for racially abusing another top player.

The 31-year-old 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 "black c***" during a league match.

The 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. He is one of the most decorated English players in the modern domestic game, having led west London's Chelsea FC to a string of trophies and league titles.

He said: "I am disappointed with the decision to charge me and hope to be given the chance to clear my name as quickly as possible. 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.

Ms Saunders 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 Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea on October 23, 2011.

"The decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and after careful consideration of all the evidence I am satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute this case. He is now summonsed with a criminal offence and has the right to a fair trial."

Terry will appear before West London Magistrates' Court on February 1.


From Belfast Telegraph