Chelsea captain John Terry called Anton Ferdinand a racist obscenity in response to taunts about his alleged affair with a team-mate's ex-girlfriend, a court heard today.
The 31 year old is accused of a racially aggravated public order offence during a Premier League match on October 23 last year, which was broadcast to millions of people.
Appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court today, Terry sat in the dock wearing a light grey suit, white shirt and pink tie.
Opening the prosecution today, Duncan Penny said: "The Crown alleges that the words he used demonstrated hostility based on Mr Ferdinand's membership or presumed membership of a racial group."
The court heard that Terry maintains he was only sarcastically repeating words that Ferdinand wrongly thought he had used.
Mr Penny said: "The Crown alleges that the defendant, most probably in response to physical gestures being made by Mr Ferdinand which the defendant understood to refer to the well-publicised allegation of an extra-marital affair with a team-mate's wife, shouted at Mr Ferdinand."
The case is being heard by Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle, and there is no jury.
Both television clips and unbroadcast footage of the incident, which would normally be used for training purposes, were shown to the court.
Terry was allowed out of the dock into the well of the court to view footage of the alleged insult.
It is claimed that Ferdinand said something about "shagging ya mate's missus" and made fist gestures, before Terry responded.
The court was told that Chelsea team-mates Ashley Cole and John Mikel Obi were nearby when insults were traded, but they will not be called as witnesses as part of the prosecution case.
The trial continues.