Chelsea captain John Terry has announced that he will no longer play for England effective immediately. The decision comes just hours before the Football Association begins a disciplinary hearing into Terry’s alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand, a charge he was cleared of at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in July.
“I am today announcing my retirement from international football,” Terry said in a statement.
“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.
“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 [Hodgson] and the team every success for the future.
“I am making this statement today in advance of the hearing of the FA disciplinary charge because 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.
“I now look forward to playing for Chelsea FC, and challenging for domestic and European honours, and I want to thank the fans and the club for their continued support.”
The timing of Terry’s decision is strange. He has known for weeks that his hearing will begin tomorrow, so why not announce his retirement during the recent international break?
The only thing I can think of is that Terry made the announcement after becoming convinced that the Football Association are determined to find him guilty of racial abuse, and he is getting the first shot in at the F.A.