John Terry charged by FA
John Terry faces another fight to be cleared of using racist language towards Anton Ferdinand after the Football Association decided he still has a case to answer.
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A fortnight after being acquitted by a court of racially abusing QPR defender Ferdinand in October, Chelsea captain Terry was charged by the FA over the same incident.
Despite being given a week to respond, Terry's reaction was instant, the 31-year-old saying in a statement: "I deny the charge and I will be requesting the opportunity to attend the commission for a personal hearing."
Moments earlier, the FA said in their statement: "Chelsea captain John Terry has been charged by the Football Association with using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, the FA have confirmed.
"It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Ferdinand."
Terry was found not guilty of calling Ferdinand a "f****** black c***" during a five-day trial at Westminster Magistrates Court that ended two weeks ago, with District Judge Howard Riddle ruling there was reasonable doubt whether the words were intended as an insult.
Terry has always maintained they were not, insisting they formed part of a denial to an accusation of racism from Ferdinand during Chelsea's Barclays Premier League defeat at QPR on October 23.
The Blues skipper was acquitted on that basis but the FA refused to drop their own investigation into the matter, which they had put on hold the moment Terry was charged with a criminal offence.
They confirmed tonight they had sought advice from "an external Independent QC" and had also taken into account the trial evidence and verdict before deciding to act.
They added: "This charge is the result of the FA's long-standing enquiries into this matter, which were placed on hold pending the outcome of the criminal trial, and relates to rules governing football only."
Whereas the prosecution in court had to prove Terry's guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the FA disciplinary commission can reach verdicts purely on the balance of probabilities, a much lower burden of proof.
They did just that in December when Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was handed an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
Terry could face even more dire consequences if found guilty, although it had yet to be decided tonight when his personal hearing would be.
If it is not before August 15, the FA have confirmed he will be free to play for England in their friendly against Italy - he was also allowed to play at the European Championship prior to his trial.
But Terry has already lost the England captaincy over the mere allegation of racism and his international career would effectively be ended by a guilty verdict.
That would also place enormous pressure on Chelsea, where he has been skipper for more than eight years, and who have taken a hard line on racism among their own supporters.
Terry said only yesterday he was "delighted to get back to football, concentrate on what I love doing" after speaking for the first time since his trial on the Blues' pre-season tour of the United States.
The racism row has haunted the defender ever since silent footage emerged appearing to show him shouting the words "f****** black c***" at Ferdinand soon after October's match at Loftus Road.
Ferdinand denied he had accused Terry of calling him that, although he admitted in court he taunted the 31-year-old over allegations of an extra-marital affair with former Chelsea team-mate Wayne Bridge.
There were suggestions Ferdinand could also be charged with using insulting words but Press Association Sport understands only Terry faces punishment.
Although there were widespread reports the FA's decision whether to charge Terry was expected by the weekend, their announcement was made just hours before the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, one of the biggest nights in the country's sporting history.