Terry racism hearing starts after quitting England

Associated Press Modified: September 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm •  Published: September 24, 2012
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WEMBLEY, England (AP) — Less than a day after quitting international football, John Terry attended a racism hearing at the Football Association on Monday with the former England captain facing an eight-match ban from playing for Chelsea.

The defender is fighting a misconduct charge that was brought despite being cleared in court of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match last October.

The 31-year-old Terry decided Sunday night that his position with England had been made "untenable" by the FA's decision to pursue a case, although he had been allowed to keep playing despite being stripped of the captaincy before the trial.

"I don't see how we've made (his position) untenable; they're two very separate processes," FA General Secretary Alex Horne responded Monday at Wembley Stadium, where an independent four-man FA panel is hearing the case.

Hodgson withstood widespread criticism to take Terry to the European Championship in June only weeks before the criminal trial, but he will now be without a key defender for the rest of 2014 World Cup qualifying and beyond.

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

Hodgson was appointed England coach because Fabio Capello quit in February following the decision by the FA to strip Terry of the captaincy.

A magistrate in July cleared Terry of a racially aggravated public order offense despite describing the player's defense as being "under the cold light of forensic examination, unlikely."

Terry did not deny using an offensive term during the west London Premier League derby at QPR last October but said all he did was sarcastically repeat the words he is accused of using.

"I've been called a lot of things in my football career, and outside of football as well, but being a racist is not one I'm prepared to take at all ... I'm not having anyone — let alone Anton — think that at all about me because that's not in my character at all," Terry said during his initial interview with FA investigators that was heard in court.

Ferdinand said he had been goading Terry about his alleged extramarital affair with the former girlfriend of ex-England teammate Wayne Bridge.

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