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Terry faces court appearance

The England captain John Terry will appear in court on charges of a racially aggravated public order offence. The charge relates to the allegation that Terry made racial slurs against Anton Ferdinand in a match between Chelsea and QPR on October 23.

An FA inquiry into the incident has been dragging on, but the Crown Prosecution Service have concluded that there is enough evidence to bring a prosecution. It is believed that the CPS have obtained fresh evidence, including new video footage of the incident.

Terry was understandably dismayed by the decision to press charges, and issued a statement: "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 issued their own statement in support of Terry: "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.”

If found guilty, Terry’s position as England captain will be untenable, and there will be questions asked about whether he can be included in Fabio Capello’s squad at all after the charge.

News of the charge emerged on the same day that Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was banned for 8 games after an FA tribunal found him guilty of directing racial abuse at Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.

Terry will appear before magistrates on 1 February 2012.

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