LONDON: Chelsea captain John Terry has been charged by the Football Association for his part in last season’s incident with the Queens Park Rangers  defender Anton Ferdinand.

Terry, 31, is alleged to have used “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour” in the 23 October match. An  FA statement added: “It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Ferdinand.”

England defender Terry denies the charge and is to request  a personal hearing. Earlier this month he was cleared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court of racially abusing Ferdinand during the Premier League game between the west London sides.

‘Possible challenge’

It was alleged Terry had insulted Ferdinand, describing him as “black” and using extreme sexual swear words. But in reaching a not guilty verdict, chief magistrate Howard Riddle stated it was “possible that what was said was not intended as an insult but rather as a challenge to what he believed had been said to him”.

The prosecution had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Terry had used the words in an insulting manner, which it could not.

But the FA has to prove its case only “on the balance of probabilities”, a far lower burden of proof.  Terry remains available to play for England pending the outcome of the case.

The statement added: “This charge is the result of the FA’s long-standing enquiries into this matter, which were placed on hold pending the outcome of the criminal trial, and relates to rules governing football only.”

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