John Terry cleared of racism accusations

By Alex Veeneman on July 13, 2012

Chelsea player John Terry arriving at the Magistrates Court at the London borough of Westminster in the UK.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr user Blog Gallery)

The soccer player John Terry has been found not guilty of allegations that he racially abused another soccer player Anton Ferdinand during a match.

Terry, who plays for the Chelsea team and is a former captain of the England national team, was accused of racially abusing the Queen’s Park Rangers player Ferdinand.

In the written judgment, the chief Magistrate of the Westminster court, Howard Riddle, said it was highly unlikely that the racial abuse occurred. “The prosecution evidence as to what was said by Mr. Ferdinand at this point is not strong,” Riddle wrote according to a report from the BBC. “It is therefore possible that what he [Mr. Terry] said was not intended as an insult, but rather as a challenge to what he believed had been said to him. In those circumstances, there being a doubt, the only verdict the court can record is one of not guilty.”

Terry did not speak to media outside the court, but his lawyer said according to the BBC that he had been acquitted of charges. “The court has today acquitted John Terry of all charges,” said Dan Morrison. “He did not racially abuse Anton Ferdinand, and the court has accepted this.”

The Football Association, which oversees the sport across England and its national team, is to resume an inquiry into the matter next week in light of the verdict, according to the BBC. An FA spokesman said according to the BBC report that the inquiries in the matter are looking to conclude. The chairman of Chelsea, Bruce Buck, said Terry could turn his mind back to the sport. “Chelsea Football Club notes and, of course, we respect the decision of the magistrate today,” Buck said in a statement according to the BBC. “We are pleased John can now put his mind to football, go back to training and do what he has been doing for many years.”

The allegations stem from a match in October, which resulted in the decision of the Football Association to remove the captaincy of the England team from Terry.

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