John Terry retires from international football


Former England captain John Terry is due before a Football Association disciplinary panel, after saying he will not play for his country again. The Chelsea captain announced his retirement from international football on Sunday. Terry was cleared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in July of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League game but he said he could not play for England again because of the FA's decision to pursue charges against him.

John Terry, aged 31, earned his first England cap in 2003 and became captain of the national football team in 2006. He earned 78 caps before announcing his retirement on Sunday.

Terry said: "Pursuing charges when I have already been cleared in a court... has made my position untenable." Terry received a not guilty verdict at July's trial but was subsequently charged by the FA two weeks later for using alleged "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" towards the QPR defender during October's game at Loftus Road. The court heard accusations that Terry had insulted Ferdinand, describing him as "black" and using extreme sexual swear words. However, the prosecution could not prove the accusations beyond reasonable doubt.

But the Football Association (FA), whose charge includes an alleged "reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Ferdinand", only has to prove its case "on the balance of probabilities". The defender telephoned national team coach Roy Hodgson to inform him of his decision before relasing a press statement on Sunday evening. The Football Association said they would not be commenting on Terry's retirement.

Terry was appointed as David Beckham's successor as England skipper in 2006 but was stripped of the position in 2010 following allegations he had an affair with then England team-mate Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend. He was then re-appointed in March 2011, but the FA relieved him of the role again in February, a decision which caused the departure of manager Fabio Capello.

Terry said: "Representing and captaining my country is what I dreamed of as a boy and it has been a truly great honour. I have always given my all and it breaks my heart to make this decision. I want to wish Roy Hodgson and the team every success for the future. I now look forward to playing for Chelsea and challenging for domestic and European honours, and I want to thank the fans and the club for their continued support. I would like to thank the England managers who have selected me for my 78 caps. I have had great pleasure in sharing that honour with all the players that I've played with. I would like to thank them, the fans and my family for their support and encouragement during my international career."

England have a couple of World Cup qualifiers next month: San Marino at Wembley on 12 October and then, four days later, Poland in Warsaw. Bet365 have England at 1/6 to qualify to the World Cup final tournament in Brazil.

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