21 December 2011
Chelsea’s John Terry – also the captain of England – will face a charge of using racially abusive language towards QPR’s Anton Ferdinand, the Crown Prosecution Service said today.
The Football Association launched its own investigation in October into allegations that Terry used a racially abusive term towards QPR’s Anton Ferdinand during Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to QPR on 23 October.
The FA have to wait for any police inquiry and subsequent action to conclude before continuing with their own probe. The case throws doubt over Terry’s future as an England player.
Alison Saunders, Chief Crown Prosecutor for London, said: “I have today advised the Metropolitan Police Service that John Terry should be prosecuted for a racially aggravated public order offence following comments allegedly made during a Premier League football match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea on 23 October 2011.
“The decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and after careful consideration of all the evidence, I am satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute this case.
“Mr Terry will appear before West London Magistrates Court on 1 February 2012.
“He is now summonsed with a criminal offence and has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice his trial.”
Background information from CPS
The details of the charge against Terry are: On 23 October 2011 at Loftus Road Stadium, London W12, you used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress which was racially aggravated in accordance with section 28 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Contrary to section 31 (1) (c) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
If found guilty, Terry faces a maximum fine of £2,500. There is no prospect of jail.
The FA will decide what action to take after the criminal trial. The FA have just dealt with another case involved alleged racist language: the Suarez case.
John Terry has issued a statement saying: “I am disappointed with the decision to charge me and hope to be given the chance to clear my name as quickly as possible.
“I have never aimed a racist remark at anyone and count people from all races and creeds among my closest friends.
“I will fight tooth and nail to prove my innocence. I have campaigned against racism and believe there is no place for it in society.”
Chelsea have released a statement in support of Terry.
It says: “John has made it clear he denies the charge and is determined to do all he can to prove his innocence.
“Chelsea FC has always been fully supportive of John in this matter and there is no question that we will continue to be so.
“The club finds all forms of discrimination abhorrent and we are proud of the work we undertake campaigning on this important issue.”