Belfast Telegraph

Roy Hodgson is left stunned as John Terry waves goodbye

By Martyn Ziegler

John Terry came face to face with Anton Ferdinand yesterday at the start of the Chelsea captain's disciplinary hearing over allegations he racially abused the QPR defender.

Ferdinand gave his testimony to the independent panel at the hearing at Wembley Stadium, with Terry in attendance to hear the evidence against him.

After the hearing was under way, England manager Roy Hodgson released a statement expressing dismay at Terry's decision to quit international football, while the FA denied his claim that it was “untenable” for him to play for England any more when the association were pursuing charges against him.

Terry announced his international retirement on the eve of the hearing and Hodgson said he was sorry to lose the services of one of his best players.

Only last month Hodgson said he would pick Terry again if he only received a short ban and those close to the defender say the England manager tried to talk him out of the decision to quit.

Hodgson said in a statement: “I'd like to thank John Terry for his commitment to the England team since I became manager.

“I am of course disappointed to lose a player of John's international experience and exceptional ability.

“I have enjoyed a good relationship with John during my time as England manager and I reluctantly accept his decision.

“I can also confirm that he had the courtesy to call me prior to announcement his retirement from the England team.

“I'd like to wish John well for the future with Chelsea.”

Terry effectively accused the FA of forcing his hand after they pursued charges despite him being cleared in court of a racially-aggravated public order offence over the same incident last October.

FA general secretary Alex Horne denied this, however, saying: “I don't see how we've made it untenable — they're two very separate processes.

“It's something that happened in a match between QPR and Chelsea — it shouldn't be taking a year to resolve but we feel we're reaching a conclusion on that.

“That's a very different process, from my perspective, from our England procedures.

“They sit in different compartments and I could separate the two in my mind.

“But, unfortunately it doesn't look like he could.”

A similar hearing involving Liverpool's Luis Suarez took four days and led to the Liverpool striker being banned for eight matches.

Terry could face a similarly lengthy ban if found guilty by the FA of using racist language during Chelsea's Barclays Premier League defeat at QPR on October 23 last year — a charge he categorically denies.

The 31-year-old was found not guilty in court back in July, with the prosecution unable to prove he made a racist remark to Ferdinand.

Belfast Telegraph


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