John Terry announces retirement from international football

Former England captain John Terry has announced his retirement from international football after playing 78 times in nine years for his country.

Terry, 31, says the decision is in response to the Football Association’s disciplinary charge over his alleged comments to Anton Ferdinand.

The Chelsea defender was cleared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in July of racially abusing Ferdinand.

He said his FA personal hearing on Monday makes his position “untenable”.

“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.

Terry received a not guilty verdict at July’s trial but was subsequently charged by the FA two weeks later for using alleged “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour” towards the QPR defender during a game in October.

The court heard accusations that Terry had insulted Ferdinand, describing him as “black” and using extreme sexual swear words.

The prosecution had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Terry had used the words in an insulting manner, which it could not.

But the FA, whose charge includes an alleged “reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Ferdinand”, only has to prove its case “on the balance of probabilities”.

Terry was appointed as David Beckham’s successor as England skipper in 2006 but was stripped of the position in 2010 following allegations he had an affair with England team-mate Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend.

He was re-appointed as England skipper in March last year, but was again relieved of the honour by the FA in February – which played a significant role in the departure of manager Fabio Capello – following the allegations in the Ferdinand incident.

Terry said: “Representing and captaining my country is what I dreamed of as a boy 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 now look forward to playing for Chelsea and challenging for domestic and European honours, and I want to thank the fans and the club for their continued support.

“I would like to thank the England managers who have selected me for my 78 caps. I have had great pleasure in sharing that honour with all the players that I’ve played with.

“I would like to thank them, the fans and my family for their support and encouragement during my international career.”