London - Former England captain John Terry dramatically quit international soccer on Sunday, fewer than 24 hours before a Football Association
hearing into allegations he racially abused Queens Park Rangers' Anton
Chelsea skipper Terry, 31, said the FA had made his position "untenable"
after he had already been cleared of criminal charges emanating from
the controversy which rocked the game last October.
"I am today announcing my retirement from international football," Terry said in a statement.
"I would like to thank the England managers 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," added Terry who made his England
debut in 2003.
"I want to wish Roy (Hodgson, the England manager) and the team every success for the future.
"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 now look forward to playing for Chelsea FC, and challenging for
domestic and European honours, and I want to thank the fans and the club
for their continued support."
Central defender Terry has always denied using a racist slur against
Ferdinand during a Premier League match last October and was cleared of
criminal charges relating to the incident by a London court in July.
The criminal action had to prove Terry's guilt beyond reasonable doubt
but the judge ruled the prosection had not proved their case to that
An FA panel will consider the claims resulting from the match but has a
lower burden of proof based on the balance of probabilities.
Terry was stripped of the England captaincy as a result of the
allegations and there was further controversy when he was included in
Hodgson's squad for this year's European Championships while long-term
England central defensive colleague Rio Ferdinand, Anton's older
brother, was left out.