LONDON: John Terry has quit theEnglandnational team ahead of today’s Football Association hearing into racism comment claims – accusing the FA of making his position “untenable.”
If found guilty, the Chelsea and former England captain who denies the claim could face a substantial suspension similar to the eight-game ban served last season by Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.
In a statement, he said: “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.
“I would like to thank theEnglandmanagers 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.
“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.”
Terry, 31, has consistently denied using a racial slur against QPR’s Anton Ferdinand and was found not guilty of a racially-aggravated public order offence at Westminster Magistrates Court in July. He was stripped of the captaincy while he awaited trial but was allowed to continue playing forEngland.
Terry, who made his debut againstSerbiaandMontenegroin 2003, was appointed captain by Fabio Capello in 2008 but lost the position in 2010 over allegations of an affair with the partner of former teammateWayneBridge. He was handed the armband again in 2011 before the FA board stripped it from him last February after the incident with Ferdinand.
Chelseasaid: “This was a personal and difficult decision for John to take as playing for and captaining his country was a boyhood dream.”