Chelsea news

Terry FA hearing set to begin

September 23, 2012
By Harry Harris, Football correspondent

Monday will see the start of Chelsea captain Terry's personal hearing to answer an FA charge that he used "abusive and/or insulting words" which "included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Anton Ferdinand" in last October's Premier League clash at QPR.

Anton Ferdinand, John Terry
PA PhotosIt has been a year since the John Terry/Anton Ferdinand incident

ESPN can reveal that the landmark case, almost a year after the offence took place will deal specifically with the charges of using insulting language and whether they were of a racial nature.

Terry's retirement from international football on Sunday night ensures that his England future will not be up for debate in the hearing, but the ramifications of a guilty verdict will be an inevitable second 'hearing' - a private meeting of the FA Board, most likely with manager Roy Hodgson being asked for his views, and the possibility of Terry being banned for five to eight games for Chelsea.

An FA source told ESPN: "It needs to be made clear that there is only one issue being discussed at the disciplinary hearing that is the case in question. If there is a need for a meeting of the FA Board once the hearing is concluded, then that will be a matter for the FA Board."

Luis Suarez was banned for eight games after being found guilty of racially insulting language aimed at Patrice Evra last year. The breakdown of that ban was three matches for the use of the word which was 'insulting behaviour', two matches were for it being of a racial nature, and an additional three matches as he allegedly repeated the offensive word.

ESPN can reveal that Terry is not charged with repeating the offensive remarks, so the likelihood if found guilty is a five-match ban.

Terry and Ferdinand are expected to attend in person to give evidence, as Terry requested a personal hearing, while Ashley Cole will also give evidence as he did in the police prosecution against Terry which failed.

Terry was acquitted of a charge at Westminster Magistrates' Court of racially abusing Ferdinand, and Terry's legal team led by George Carter-Stephenson QC, who defended him in court, will try to argue that the case should not proceed because of Terry's acquittal in a criminal court.

The former England captain's legal team quote FA rule 6.8, which governs disciplinary hearings and states that the results of relevant civil or criminal proceedings are 'presumed to be correct and the facts presumed to be true' by FA regulatory commissions.