Terry set for FA battle
Chelsea defender John Terry is going head-to-head with the FA after taking the "heart-breaking" decision to end his England football career.
The former national captain is facing an improper conduct charge, the final instalment of his spat with Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road last October.
If he was found guilty, most thought he could never play for England again. However, in a shock move on Sunday night, Terry took the matter out of FA hands by ending one of the most controversial England careers of all time on 78 caps.
"I am announcing my retirement from international football," said Terry in a statement. "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 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."
The move is a major blow to manager Roy Hodgson, as well as being somewhat embarrassing as he had continued to stand by Terry throughout the racism storm. Press Association Sport understands Terry spoke to Hodgson before releasing the statement.
Hodgson selected Terry for Euro 2012 prior to a court case, at which the 31-year-old was found not guilty. He then chose Terry for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine even though the FA had continued their own action against him.
But he is not the first England manager to come a cropper defending Terry. Having named Terry as his captain in August 2008, Fabio Capello had to strip the Chelsea man of the honour less than two years later following an alleged affair with an ex-girlfriend of former Chelsea team-mate Wayne Bridge.
Capello subsequently gave Terry the job back in March 2011, after giving the 31-year-old a public dressing down during the World Cup in South Africa, only to be let down again when Terry became embroiled in an on-pitch row with Ferdinand at QPR last October. So furious was Capello about FA chairman David Bernstein going over his head to strip Terry of the captaincy a second time, he resigned on a point of principle.
Terry was subsequently cleared of racism allegations at Westminster Magistrates Court in July. However, the FA then stepped in with their own charge. 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.