FA puzzled by Terry retirement

Alex Horne
FA general secretary Alex Horne insists his organisation have not made John Terry's position in the England side untenable. Photo: PA

Football Association general secretary Alex Horne was mystified by John Terry's decision to retire from international football, insisting his disciplinary hearing over a racism charge was entirely separate to his England prospects.

Terry announced he was quitting the international scene in a statement last night, claiming the FA's decision to pursue a case against him after he was cleared in court of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand made his position in the national team "untenable", but Horne did not agree that was the case.

"It's a personal decision. I don't see how we've made it untenable, they're two very separate processes," he told Sky Sports News on his way into FA headquarters at Wembley this morning.

"It's something that happened in a match - it shouldn't be taking a year to resolve but we feel we're 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."

Terry could face a lengthy ban if found guilty by the FA of using racist language during a match for Chelsea against QPR on October 23 last year, but has taken any decision over his England future out of its hands.

It has been reported that his hearing will take place at Wembley this morning, but the FA has not confirmed that. Terry has categorically denied racially abusing Ferdinand.

Club England managing director Adrian Bevington also spoke to Sky Sports News on his way into Wembley, saying the Chelsea skipper had "always given his all" and had been a "great servant" for his country.

Terry and Ferdinand
Terry and Anton Ferdinand's spat continues to cast a shadow over the Chelsea player's career. Credit: PA

Press Association Sport understands England full-back Ashley Cole has no plans to follow his Chelsea team-mate into retirement and is still fully committed to the national team cause.

Cole had given evidence as a defence witness at Westminster Magistrates Court during Terry's racism trial in July.

Terry was found not guilty in court, with the prosecution unable to prove he had called Ferdinand a "f****** black c***" as an insult. Terry admitted using the words, but insisted he had only been repeating words he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying.

However, the FA then stepped in with its own charge.

The case is due to start today, triggering Terry's decision to end his England career.

His delegation will be led by George Carter-Stephenson QC - who successfully defended Terry in court - and are said to be ready to argue that his acquittal in a criminal trial means the FA case cannot proceed.

The FA will argue its charge against Terry is distinct from the racially-aggravated public order offence from which he was cleared in July.

The panel who handed Liverpool striker Luis Suarez an eight-match ban when they found him guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra last season declared that simply using racist language was enough to constitute a breach of FA rules.

Press Association Sport understands Terry spoke to England manager Roy Hodgson before releasing last night's statement, which read: "I am today announcing my retirement from international football.

"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 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."