Terry fights for reputation
London - Controversial former England captain John Terry faced a Football Association disciplinary hearing over racism charges on Monday, despite being cleared in a criminal case.
The start of the hearing into whether he racially abused Queens Park Rangers' Anton Ferdinand in October, came a day after Terry dramatically quit international football by announcing his retirement in protest at his treatment by the FA.
Chelsea skipper Terry, who is to continue playing for the European champions, said on Sunday that the FA had made his position "untenable" after he had already been cleared of criminal charges emanating from the controversy.
"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," he said in a statement.
"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."
But FA general secretary Alex Horne, in the governing body's first response to Terry's England retirement, told Sky Sports on Monday: "It's a personal decision. I don't see how we've made it untenable, they're two very separate processes.
"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."
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 prosecution had not proved their case to that standard.
Terry, 31, had hoped his courtroom acquittal would be the end of the matter but instead found himself on the end of an internal hearing by the sport's governing body in England.
He, his legal team, the independent FA panel and Ferdinand were all seen arriving at the FA's Wembley Stadium headquarters in north London on Monday morning.
Terry's supporters say the FA's own regulations should preclude the governing body from taking further action.
Its own rule 6.8 states: "Where the subject matter of a complaint or matter before the Regulatory Commission has been the subject of previous civil criminal or civil proceedings, the result of such proceedings and the facts and matters upon which such a result is based shall be presumed to be correct and the facts presumed to be true unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence, that this is not the case."
However, the FA are likely to insist their charge is distinct from the racially-aggravated public order offence of which Terry was cleared in July.
Terry admitted in court that used the racial slur against Ferdinand but only in a denial after he believed Ferdinand had accused him of using those words.
The panel who gave Liverpool striker Luis Suarez an eight-match ban when finding him guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra last season said just using racist language was enough to constitute a breach of FA rules.