John Terry has officially denied FA charges over an incident with Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand. The charges were announced on Friday.
The former England captain is charged with using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Queens Park Rangers' Anton Ferdinand, for which he was found not guilty in the Magistrates court, as well as referencing to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Ferdinand. The QPR defender, however, has not been charged by the FA for his role in the incident.
An FA statement read: "After seeking advice from an external Independent QC, and having considered the evidence and Magistrates' Court decision in the John Terry case, The FA has today charged the Chelsea player following an alleged incident that occurred during the Queens Park Rangers versus Chelsea fixture at Loftus Road on 23 October 2011.
"It is alleged that Terry used abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Queens Park Rangers' Anton Ferdinand, contrary to FA rules. It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Anton Ferdinand.
"This charge is the result of The FA's long-standing enquiries into this matter, which were placed on hold pending the outcome of the criminal trial, and relates to rules governing football only. During this period John Terry remains available to play for England. Terry has until 3 August 2012 to respond."
A statement on the Chelsea website confirmed the defender had denied the charges and would request the opportunity for a personal hearing
The charge against Terry comes just days after the Chelsea captain told reporters that he was hoping to put a testing summer behind him and concentrate on football.
However, that is now not going to be possible as he faces a lengthy ban if found guilty of an FA hearing where the burden of proof is lower than that of a criminal trial. A guilty verdict for bringing the game into disrepute and expressing racially inflammatory comments would likely carry a heavy penalty.
Only last season, Liverpool's Luis Suarez was banned for eight games when found guilty by the FA for remarks aimed at Manchester United's Patrice Evra. If found guilty, Terry can expect similar punishment from the authorities.