Hodgson laments Terry’s retirement

Hodgson laments Terry’s retirement

LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Hodgson laments Terry’s retirement

Chelsea’s John Terry ended his England career with immediate effect and blames the Football Association’s actions following his controversy with Anton Ferdinand. AFP photo

England manager Roy Hodgson said yesterday that he had “reluctantly” accepted John Terry’s decision to call time on his international career, as the center back contested a Football Association racism charge.

Chelsea captain Terry effectively accused the FA of forcing his hand in quitting England duty after the governing body pressed on with charges that he racially abused Queens Park Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand in October.

Terry, who has always denied using a racist slur against his opponent, was found not guilty in a criminal case relating to the incident in a London court in July.

Despite the controversy, Hodgson picked Terry in his squad for the European Championship in June and wanted to have the 31-year-old involved in England’s bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“I’d like to thank John Terry for his commitment to the England team since I became manager,” said Hodgson. “I have enjoyed a good relationship with John during my time as England manager and I reluctantly accept his decision.”

In a separate statement, the FA thanked Terry for his England service. “During his 78 appearances, John has always given his full commitment to the team,” the FA said.

Former England captain Terry, however, hit out at the FA for putting him in what he felt was an impossible position.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“I now look forward to playing for Chelsea FC and challenging for domestic and European honors and I want to thank the fans and the club for their continued support.”

Reasonable doubt

The criminal action had to prove Terry’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt but the judge ruled the prosecution had not proved their case to that standard. Terry had hoped his courtroom acquittal would be the end of the matter but instead found himself on the end of an internal FA hearing.

He, his legal team, the independent FA panel and Ferdinand were all seen arriving at the FA’s Wembley Stadium headquarters in north London yesterday.