Following news today that Luis Suarez would face an eight-match ban for his racist remarks against Patrice Evra, it has now emerged that John Terry will face court for the alleged abuse he levelled at QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
The Crown Prosecution Service have said that they will prosecute Terry over the claims that the defender was racist to Ferdinand, which he vehemently denies. Speaking after the announcement Terry said: "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."
The alleged racist remark was reportedly captured on video, although the footage thus far released onto YouTube is open to interpretation.
Although it was beginning to look likely that the inconclusiveness of the evidence would mean that Terry would be deemed innocent, the example being made of Suarez, arguably one of the highest profile international footballers, means that the England captain’s future is looking more and more uncertain.
Terry only regained his captaincy in March after being stripped of it for 13 months following the controversy surrounding his affair. If he is found to be guilty of racially abusing Ferdinand it is likely that he will yet again be forced to give up the armband.
Chief Crown Prosecutor Alison Saunders said of the decision: "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 Queen's 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."
Both England manager Fabio Capello and Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas have gave their support to Terry, with the former saying that the defender is “innocent until proven guilty” and the latter saying that he has the clubs “full support”.
Speaking of the club, they also released a statement today, saying: "Chelsea Football Club today received notification that the Crown Prosecution Service has charged John Terry with a racially aggravated public order offence. 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 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. Chelsea will not be commenting further on the subject while the legal process runs its course."
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