FA denies forcing John Terry out of England set-up and defends right to hold hearing

Inquiry set to last four days as governing body says it must examine complaints separately from court case

The Football Association yesterday rejected John Terry's assertion that the governing body had made his position with the national team "untenable" as the former England captain faced the first day of his hearing on charges of allegedly racially abusing the QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

Terry, who denies the charges, followed his sudden retirement from international football on Sunday by spending five hours at Wembley yesterday for the opening stages of a hearing in front of an independent panel. The proceedings are expected to last up to four days.

While the FA issued a basic statement thanking him for his contribution to the national team and the England manager, Roy Hodgson, expressed his disappointment and "reluctant acceptance" of Terry's decision, Alex Horne, the FA's general secretary, was more forthcoming in responding to the defender's dramatic decision on the eve of the hearing.

If found guilty by the four-strong panel, Terry faces at least a four-match ban and a guilty verdict would also have made any subsequent selection for England an ongoing problem for the FA. Terry claimed that because he has already been cleared of a criminal charge over the allegations "the FA have made my position with the national team untenable".

Horne said: "It's a personal decision. I don't see how we have made it untenable, they are two very separate processes. It's something that happened in a match – it shouldn't be taking a year to resolve but we feel we are reaching a conclusion on that.

"That's a very different process from our England procedures; they sit in different compartments and I could separate the two in my mind, but it doesn't look like he could."

Horne spoke en route to Wembley, but for the remainder of the day the FA steadfastly refused to discuss the matter beyond a brief statement and Hodgson's response. The FA fears leaving itself open to accusations of trying to influence proceedings and will not comment further until a decision is reached. The governing body is anxious to play up the independence of the process – it is a decision made solely by an independent panel. The FA has not named the panel, although the former England, Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough winger Stuart Ripley, now a sports lawyer, is reportedly among the quartet led by a QC.

Horne acknowledged the process, which now stretches over 11 months, has gone on too long. The FA was requested by the Crown Prosecution Service to put its investigation on ice until legal proceedings were complete. Terry was found not guilty of racially abusing Ferdinand at Westminster magistrates' court in July. The FA charged Terry on 27 July.

Terry's legal team were at Wembley by 7.30am yesterday, with Terry arriving a couple of hours later, around the same time as Ferdinand. Terry is charged with breaking two rules, E3(1) and E3(2), by "using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" and including a "reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Anton Ferdinand." It is the same charge Luis Suarez of Liverpool faced last season. Suarez was banned for eight matches having used the word "negro" more than once to Manchester United's Patrice Evra. There is only one allegation standing against Terry and he has admitted saying "f***ing black c**t" to Ferdinand, although he denies it was directed as an insult.

The 31-year-old won the last of his 78 caps against Moldova earlier this month. "I'd like to thank John Terry for his commitment to the England team since I became manager," said Hodgson, who chose Terry ahead of Rio Ferdinand for Euro 2012. "I am of course disappointed to lose a player of John's international experience and exceptional ability.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 

"I have enjoyed a good relationship with John during my time as England manager and I reluctantly accept his decision. I can also confirm he had the courtesy to call me prior to announcing his retirement from the England team. I'd like to wish John well for the future with Chelsea."

The FA statement said: "The FA would like to thank John Terry for all his efforts with the national team over the last decade. During his 78 appearances John has always given his full commitment to the team."

Chelsea play Wolverhampton Wanderers tonight in the Capital One Cup at Stamford Bridge but Terry is not expected to feature.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions