The English Football Association (FA) have rejected Chelsea defender John Terry’s claims that an investigation into his alleged racial abuse of an opponent during a Premier League match last year had forced him to retire from England duty.
The 31-year-old former national captain brought his England career to an abrupt end on Sunday, saying his position in the national team had become “untenable” due to the FA’s impending case against him.
The Chelsea skipper stood before an FA tribunal set to last four days on Monday, facing charges of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand last October despite being acquitted in the law courts in July.
FA general secretary Alex Horne dismissed Terry’s objections to the hearing, saying that the governing body was not responsible for the player's decision to retire.
“It’s a personal decision. I dont see how we have made it untenable, they are two very separate processes,” Horne told the British media on Monday.
“It’s something that happened in a match - it shouldn’t be taking a year to resolve but we feel we are reaching a conclusion on that.”
“That’s a very different process from our England procedures; they sit in different compartments and I could separate the two in my mind, but it doesn’t look like he could.”
If found guilty of racially abusing Ferdinand, Terry could face a lengthy ban similar to the eight-match one served by Liverpool’s Luis Suarez last season.
London-born Terry, capped 78 times since his debut in 2003 including appearances in two World Cups, has spent his entire career with Chelsea since joining the European champions as a 14-year-old.