Why Terry called it quits

FOOTBALLER JOHN Terry retired from international, bringing to an end a nine-year period of wearing the Three Lions jersey at senior level for the Chelsea centre-back. Having amassed 78 caps and scored six goals, the Blues captain called it quits after coming to the conclusion that his position in the England set-up had now become “untenable” amid a Football Association disciplinary hearing.

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Published: Thu 27 Sep 2012, 9:04 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 12:56 AM

Terry was cleared of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers player Anton Ferdinand, the younger brother of Manchester United’s Rio, during a Premier League game at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in July. However, the FA’s decision to investigate the matter still further has clearly irked Terry, who perhaps rightly felt his innocence was still being unfairly scrutinised despite already proving it in a court of law.

The game’s governing body though is under pressure to crack down on any alleged incidents of racial abuse following two high-profile cases last season: A Ferdinand vs Terry and Patrice Evra’s war of words with Luis Suarez when Liverpool met Manchester United.

Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker faced a similar — if not identical — charge to Terry last season and was duly found guilty of the offence, paying a £40,000 fine and serving a lengthy, eight-game ban.

The FA had delayed their own investigation into Terry’s case until after his criminal trial and it’s important in the interests of fairness and justice that it is treated exactly the same as Suarez’s, regardless of national allegiance. But, if the verdict returned is not in Terry’s favour, he — like Suarez — will become the subject of negative headlines and publicity and Chelsea’s ageing lynchpin has had plenty of previous in that regard. He too could also end up facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines through a retrospective suspension, so Terry passed down his judgement and walked away before any FA verdict reached him.

He will be 32 in December and his playing powers are consequently on the wane. It’s unlikely he would still be representing England at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, so this difficult decision should prolong his club career if nothing else.

Roy Hodgson’s England meanwhile can look to a whole crop of younger players who will be only too keen to fill the void left by Terry’s self-imposed withdrawal.

Ironically, for two parties at apparent loggerheads, this could well end up serving each equally as well as the other. Everyone is a winner.

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