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John Terry quits England

John Terry has retired from international football, claiming that the FA's decision to pursue a case against him for alleged racism has made his England career "untenable".

Although Terry was acquitted in court on the charge of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, the FA has insisted on pursuing the disciplinary procedure. Terry announced his decision in advance of the FA hearing, saying, "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"

Terry had been given strong support from the England manager Roy Hodgson while the case was hanging over his head. Hodgson selected Terry for Euro 2012 and made it clear he would continue to pick him.

Terry has played 78 times for England and emphasised that he had regarded it as an honour to play for his country. "Representing and captaining my country is what I dreamed of as a boy,” he said, "and it has been a truly great honour, I have always given my all and it breaks my heart to make this decision. I want to wish Roy and the team every success for the future. I would like to thank the England managers who have selected me. I have had great pleasure in sharing that honour with all the players that I've played with."

Although Hodgson has several options at centre-back, it is clear that Terry will be missed by England. Former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted his reaction: "Whatever you think about John Terry, he always gave his absolute all on the field for England. A strong leader and great defender."

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