John Terry has denied a Football Association (FA) charge of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand and has requested a personal hearing.
The Chelsea captain was last month found not guilty of a racially-aggravated public order offence in relation to the same incident at Westminster Magistrates’ Court but faces sanctions from the FA after being charged last week.
A statement on the FA’s website said: “John Terry has today denied an FA charge of using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour, which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race, towards Queens Park Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand.
“The Chelsea player has requested a personal hearing, the date of which will be set in due course. During this period John Terry remains available to play for England.”
Friday’s announcement was always expected after Terry responded to last week’s charge almost instantly.
The 31-year-old said in a statement released to Press Association Sport last Friday evening: “I deny the charge and I will be requesting the opportunity to attend the commission for a personal hearing.”
Moments earlier, the FA had said in their statement: “Chelsea captain John Terry has been charged by the Football Association with using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, the FA have confirmed.
“It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Ferdinand.”
Terry was found not guilty of calling Ferdinand a “f****** black c***” during a five-day trial at Westminster Magistrates Court that ended two weeks ago, with District Judge Howard Riddle ruling there was reasonable doubt whether the words were intended as an insult.
Terry has always maintained they were not, insisting they formed part of a denial to an accusation of racism from Ferdinand during Chelsea’s Barclays Premier League defeat at QPR on October 23.
The Blues skipper was acquitted on that basis but the FA refused to drop their own investigation into the matter, which they had put on hold the moment Terry was charged with a criminal offence.
Whereas the prosecution in Terry’s trial had to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the FA disciplinary commission can reach verdicts purely on the balance of probabilities, a much lower burden of proof.