Earlier this month, John Terry was cleared of criminal charges at the conclusion of his trial for a public order offense that stemmed from his alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand. There wasn't enough evidence to convict him of a crime, but that doesn't mean there isn't enough evidence to suspend him from football matches. The FA, who was not willing to intervene in the Terry matter while criminal proceedings were ongoing, has now decided to charge him racially abusing Ferdinand.
The incident that the alleged abuse stemmed from occurred on October 23, during a match between Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers. Ferdinand has admitted to insulting Terry and Terry has admitted to using harsh words with Ferdinand, but denies that he ever hurled any racial insults in his direction. He's denying the charge and has requested a personal hearing, according to Sam Wallace of the Independent.
BREAKING: John Terry responds immediately to FA; denies charge and requests personal hearing— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceIndy) July 27, 2012
There is precedent for the FA to charge Terry with racial abuse, even if there wasn't enough evidence to convict him of a crime. That precedent was set just last year, when Luis Suarez was suspended eight games for racially abusing Patrice Evra. Even though the video evidence did not show the exact words that Suarez used, the FA felt that there was compelling enough evidence to suspend the Liverpool forward.
Terry had until August 3 to respond to the charge, but it apparently only took him a matter of minutes to issue his response.
For more on Terry, head over to Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History.