John Terry's England future hinges on FA verdict on racial abuse charges

LONDON. July 30. KAZINFORM John Terry's international future will hinge on how the Club England board reacts to the verdict of a Football Association panel, which will consider the charge brought by the governing body that the player used racially abusive language towards Anton Ferdinand.

Terry was cleared of a racially aggravated public order offence at Westminster magistrates court, following the flashpoint with Queen Park Rangers' Ferdinand in the Premier League last October. But the FA, having reopened their inquiry, suspended during the criminal investigation, have decided that the Chelsea captain has a case to answer under their procedures.

He was found not guilty by the chief magistrate Howard Riddle because there was not sufficient evidence to support a criminal conviction - proved beyond reasonable doubt - whereas the FA's panel will base their conclusion on the balance of probabilities.

Terry heard of the FA charge on Friday, while he was with the Chelsea squad on their tour of the United States, and he promptly said that he would deny it and request "the opportunity to attend the commission for a personal hearing" where he could defend himself.

The FA, though, require Terry to confirm his appeal to them in writing before they can begin convening the panel and finding a date that suits all parties. That may not be this week, despite the FA's desire to act as quickly as possible. Chelsea played the final game of their US tour, against Milan in Miami on Saturday, night, before returning to London. The FA are expected to call four people to the panel, including the independent QC who has overseen their investigation. The QC has taken into account the evidence that emerged during the criminal trial, Kazinform quotes the Guardian.

Terry faces a fine and suspension if found guilty, with the ban applying to Chelsea fixtures, but the four-man Club England board could take sanctions if they deemed them appropriate - that is, they could stand Terry down from international consideration.

England face Italy in a friendly on 15 August, then begin their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign in Moldova on 7 September before facing Ukraine at Wembley on 11 September. Roy Hodgson, the England manager, picked Terry at the European Championship last month while the defender had his magistrates court appearance hanging over him.

The four members of the Club England board are David Bernstein, Alex Horne, Sir Trevor Brooking and Adrian Bevington. If Terry is found guilty, it is conceivable that they would come under pressure to ban him, at the very least.

Liverpool's Luis Suárez was found guilty last December by a three-man FA panel of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra. He was banned for eight matches and fined £40,000. Three of the eight games were given for his repeated use of the racially offensive term. Terry did not repeatedly use racially offensive language towards Ferdinand.


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