London - Police are investigating allegations that Chelsea captain John Terry racially abused Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match.
The Metropolitan police said on Tuesday that they were "notified of an incident ... involving alleged racial abuse" after a complaint from a member of the public following Sunday's match between the west London clubs at Loftus Road.
"This is currently being assessed by officers," police said in a statement.
England captain Terry has strenuously denied claims he directed a racial slur at Ferdinand during Chelsea's 1-0 defeat in an ill-tempered game that featured two sending-offs and nine yellow cards.
Some have claimed video footage that appeared on the internet after the match showed Terry making a racist comment toward Ferdinand, a black defender.
However, the 30-year-old Terry released a statement on Sunday, saying that "people have leapt to the wrong conclusions about the context of what I was seen to be saying."
"I thought Anton was accusing me of using a racist slur against him. I responded aggressively, saying that I never used that term," Terry said in the statement.
Terry said Ferdinand hasn't accused him of racial abuse and added in an interview, published on Tuesday, with the Daily Mail newspaper that the matter is "finished."
"I'll do whatever it takes to clear my name and I don't have anything to hide. I'm not taking that level of abuse," he said. "Anton and I spoke for 10 minutes in the dressing room after the game and there is no issue between us."
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas said the club backs its captain.
"He said to me the incident was a big misunderstanding," Villas-Boas said. "That's why he put his statement out straightaway.
"I find it strange when people don't trust the words of a representative from your country."
It is being widely reported in the British media that QPR will meet Ferdinand on Tuesday to discuss the matter.
The issue could throw into doubt Terry's suitability as England captain.
He only regained the armband this year after being stripped of it by England manager Fabio Capello in February 2010 following allegations that Terry had an affair with the former girlfriend of Wayne Bridge, his then teammate with Chelsea and the national team.
Rio Ferdinand, the older brother of Anton and a long-time central defensive partner of Terry's, took over as captain only to relinquish it 13 months later.
Off-field transgressions have followed Terry throughout his footballing career, which has been spent entirely at Chelsea.
He was fined by the club after he and three teammates drunkenly abused American guests at a hotel the day after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Terry has also been ejected from nightclubs and newspapers have accused him of infidelities several times.
The Football Association has not become involved in the latest issue.
The governing body is currently investigating claims by Manchester United defender Patrice Evra that he was racially abused by Liverpool striker Luis Suarez during the league match between the two northwest teams last weekend on October 15.