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Terry 'racism' verdict looms

27 September 2012, 15:19

London - Former England captain John Terry on Thursday attended the fourth day of his Football Association disciplinary hearing into racism charges, amid speculation that a decision in the case could be imminent.

The 31-year-old Chelsea skipper arrived at the FA's Wembley Stadium headquarters in north London shortly before 10:00 (SA time) and left about three hours later.

Neither Terry, who has always denied racially abusing fellow defender Anton Ferdinand of Queen's Park Rangers, nor his legal team made any public comment after the closed-door hearing.

The player was cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand in a criminal case last July.

If found guilty by a governing body panel, Terry has 14 days from receiving the written reasons for the decision to lodge an appeal.

No ban from playing matches - a likely punishment if the FA find against Terry - will come into force until the appeals procedure is complete.

Terry dramatically announced his retirement from international football on Sunday, the day before the hearing started.

He effectively accused the FA of forcing his hand after the governing body pressed on with charges relating to the alleged incident during a match between Chelsea and QPR in October last year.

"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," he said in a statement.

Terry had hoped his courtroom acquittal would be the end of the matter, as the FA's rule book states that the result of any previous legal action concerning the same matter will be "presumed to be correct".

He admitted in court that he used racist language against Ferdinand but said he was merely repeating what he believed Ferdinand had accused him of saying.

Last season, the independent panel who gave Liverpool striker Luis Suarez an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra said just using racist language was enough to constitute a breach of FA rules.

Despite the controversy surrounding Terry, capped 78 times by his country, England manager Roy Hodgson selected him for this year's European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine and left out his long-time international central defensive partner Rio Ferdinand, Anton's older brother.



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