Terry not guilty of racial abuse
Chelsea footballer John Terry has been found not guilty at a London court today of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.
Terry (31) had been accused of calling the QPR centre-half a “f***ing black c**t” during a Premier League match on October 23rd last year.
He said he was sarcastically repeating a slur that Ferdinand mistakenly thought he had used and had denied a racially aggravated public order offence.
The Chelsea captain (31) was in Westminster Magistrates' Court to hear chief magistrate Howard Riddle read his verdict.
"The very serious allegation at the heart of this case was one of racial abuse. It was our view that this was not 'banter' on the football pitch and that the allegation should be judged by a court," said Alison Saunders, chief crown prosecutor for London.
"The chief magistrate agreed that Mr Terry had a case to answer, but having heard all of the evidence he acquitted Mr Terry of a racially aggravated offence. That is justice being done and we respect the chief magistrate's decision," she said.
Lord Herman Ouseley, chairman of Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion campaign, said: “Kick It Out notes the decision reached and now awaits the pronouncements from The Football Association (FA) to any subsequent investigation into the matter.
“It will be interesting to hear from other organisations this will impact on, from governing bodies to leagues and clubs, and how they deem matters like this to be dealt with in the future.”
The high-profile case, focusing on foul language from both players during a Premier League game last October, triggered the resignation in February of England's Italian manager Fabio Capello after the FA decided to strip Terry of the captain's armband for Euro 2012.
Terry had denied committing a racially aggravated public order offence when he had an expletive-littered exchange with Ferdinand on the field of play when Chelsea visited QPR's Loftus Road ground.
Although, in evidence, he admitted using the highly offensive words, he maintained he was sarcastically repeating what Ferdinand mistakenly thought he had said.
During cross-examination, Ferdinand agreed he had sworn at players in the past and been on the receiving end himself. He said he was angry at Terry seeking a penalty call and there had been some barging on the pitch.
He had also alluded to an alleged affair between the Chelsea player and the ex-girlfriend of former England team mate Wayne Bridge.
Terry had been stripped of the England captaincy before the 2010 World Cup following those allegations.