Soccer: Hodgson laments Terry's England exit

England manager Roy Hodgson said today that he had "reluctantly" accepted John Terry's decision to call time on his international career, as the centre-half contested a Football Association racism charge.

Chelsea captain Terry effectively accused the FA of forcing his hand in quitting England duty after the governing body pressed on with charges that he racially abused Queens Park Rangers' Anton Ferdinand in October.

Terry, who has always denied using a racist slur against his opponent, was found not guilty in a criminal case relating to the incident in a London court in July.

Despite the controversy, Hodgson picked Terry in his squad for the European Championships in June and wanted to have the 31-year-old involved in England's bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"I'd like to thank John Terry for his commitment to the England team since I became manager," said Hodgson. "I am of course disappointed to lose a player of John's international experience and exceptional ability.

"I have enjoyed a good relationship with John during my time as England manager and I reluctantly accept his decision. I can also confirm that he had the courtesy to call me prior to the announcement of his retirement from the England team.

"I'd like to wish John well for the future with Chelsea."

Former England captain Terry, who is to continue playing for European champions Chelsea, on Sunday hit out at the FA for forcing his hand.

"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," he said in a statement.

"I now look forward to playing for Chelsea FC and challenging for domestic and European honours and I want to thank the fans and the club for their continued support."

But FA general secretary Alex Horne, in the governing body's first response to Terry's England retirement, told Sky Sports on Monday: "It's a personal decision. I don't see how we've made it untenable, they're two very separate processes.

"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."

The criminal action had to prove Terry's guilt beyond reasonable doubt but the judge ruled the prosecution had not proved their case to that standard.

Terry had hoped his courtroom acquittal would be the end of the matter but instead found himself on the end of an internal FA hearing.

He, his legal team, the independent FA panel and Ferdinand were all seen arriving at the FA's Wembley Stadium headquarters in north London on Monday morning.

Terry's supporters say the FA's own regulations should preclude any further action.

- AFP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 23 Oct 2014 04:42:37 Processing Time: 387ms