It's very simple if you turn down all the peripheral noise. John Terry may have been cleared in a criminal court of racial abuse but the FA still decided to press similar charges. The FA wins almost all of its disciplinary hearings and, of course, their burden of proof is lower.
So, assuming Terry is found guilty, the FA would be morally compromised if they allowed their former captain to wear an England shirt again. Terry has really only succeeded in taking a, potentially, controversial decision out of their hands.
As he walked away from international football, Terry described his position as 'untenable' given the FA's pursuit of his conviction. Actually, the FA has been remarkably tolerant of a man whose strong personality has always had the potential to divide a dressing room. Despite taking the captaincy away from him (for a second time) after he was charged by police with abusing Anton Ferdinand, the FA allowed him to carry on playing.
That unilateral decision, to take his armband away, caused such a rift between Wembley's powerbrokers and manager Fabio Capello, the Italian walked off in principle. The new boss Roy Hodgson then selected Terry for this years Euros, at the expense of Ferdinand's brother Rio, for 'footballing reasons.' Many observers found that explanation a little difficult to believe.
So, some would argue, far from waging a vendetta against him, the FA has actually tended to indulge him or at least has allowed others to, in their name. So it seems this time Terry has predicted his own downfall and decided to dismount the horse now, rather than wait to be thrown off it, unceremoniously, later this week.
As you will no doubt hear countless times during the next few days, Terry is a proud Englishmen who always gave everything when playing for his country. It maybe a trite football clichee but believe you me there are plenty of internationals who don't share his commitment. He has also been one of England's most consistent performers over the past decade, if he hadn't been, Hodgson would not have stuck his neck out for him this summer.
But you won't hear loud wailing or witness much public mourning as a result of his decision. John Terry has the ability to polarise opinion inside and outside the dressing room.
It's no coincidence that more fellow professionals have snubbed his pre-match handshake than any other player - from Wayne Bridge to the Ferdinand brothers. So while his footballing pedigree is not in question, there are those who, on a personal level, have little time for him.
But none of this is about friendships or even football for that matter: Its about one mans efforts to clear his name and prove that he is not a racist even though no one is really accusing him of being one. He fought accusations in a court of law and perhaps assumed the FA would drop its investigation once the chief magistrate had found in his favour. They didn't and that is what
Terry finds so difficult to stomach and is why he has turned his back on them and England.
Whether England will miss him is, largely, irrelevant now.