English defender, and former team captain, John Terry let the football world know he's had enough of dealing with allegations of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. On Sunday Terry announced he was retiring from the game at the international level.
"I am making this statement today in advance of the hearing of the FA disciplinary charge because I feel The FA, in pursuing charges against me where I have already been cleared in a court of law, have made my position with the national team untenable," Terry said in his statement. "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."
The Chelsea team captain was found not guilty in a Westminster Magistrates' courtroom in July of racially abusing Queens Park Ranger Ferdinand but was to face a Football Association (FA) panel Monday. The FA panel, which has a lower threshold of proof than a court of law, could have handed Terry a lengthy ban. Terry, formerly a teammate of Ferdinand's brother Rio in England's international side, has all along maintained he did not racially abuse Ferdinand.
Chelsea captain and Anton Ferdinand
In that premier league match last season between 31-year-old Terry's club Chelsea and another London-based side, Queens Park Rangers, Terry and Ferdinand got into a row after Ferdinand had elbowed Terry. Terry acknowledges using a racial epithet but claims he was just repeating sarcastically what he had been initially accused of saying, but which at that time he had not said. During the early stages of their yelling match, Ferdinand had taunted Terry over an affair Terry had with a teammate's former girlfriend.
Ferdinand had no issue initially, saying he did not hear anything racial from Terry and the two shook hands after the match. Days later an off-duty police-officer saw the event on Youtube and, saying he could lip-read, believed Terry had called Ferdinand "a black cunt." He reported his suspicions to the authorities. It soon lead to Terry being stripped of his captaincy of the English national team and losing sponsorship deals. England's coach, Fabio Capello, resigned in support of Terry.
The three-times UEFA Defender of the Year award winner thanked teammates and coaches he had served under during his time he had played for England. Terry attained 78 caps and played in two World Cups - he was named in the FIFA World Cup Tournament Team in 2006 - and was always an inspirational English captain who never quit on the international pitch.
This time, off the pitch, it seems John Terry's hand has been forced.