Calls for Terry to step down

England captain under scrutiny ahead of court case in July

John Terry is accused of a racially-aggravated public order offence against Anton Ferdinand, which he denies

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There have been calls for John Terry to stand aside as England captain until the conclusion of his court case later this year.

Terry denies racially abusing Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road in October.

As England coach Fabio Capello has previously stated his intention to continue selecting his captain until the conclusion of the case, confirmation that Terry's five-day hearing will not take place until July 9 seems certain to rubber-stamp the Chelsea captain's place at this summer's Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine.

However, there are some who feel that Terry should not be selected due to the extreme sensitivities of the allegation that has been levelled against him, and the fact the player he is accused of abusing is the brother of Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand, who still has a chance of being selected himself.

Damian Collins MP, a member of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, has voiced his opinion on Twitter.

"John Terry should stand aside as captain until the case is resolved, and any doubt either way removed."

Damian Collins MP on John Terry

Quotes of the week

"John Terry should stand aside as captain until the case is resolved, and any doubt either way removed," he said.

The call was endorsed by Piara Powar, the executive director of European football's anti-discrimination body - Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE).

"Innocent until proven guilty," he Tweeted.

"But should John Terry remain as England capt through the Euros? I can't see how he can."

Toxic

Reading striker and radio pundit Jason Roberts Tweeted: "Believe me...the Dressing room at the Euros will be TOXIC unless the correct decision is made..!!!

"Innocent until proven Guilty...I have also noted that Woodgate and Bowyer where suspended from England Duty pending there Assault Charges???"

The FA have not made any comment on the matter and Capello is unlikely to make any public statement until the days before England's friendly with Holland at Wembley on February 29.

At Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Wednesday, a not guilty plea was entered on Terry's behalf by his barrister, George Carter-Stephenson QC.

England's first game at Euro 2012 is a Group D encounter with France in Donetsk on June 11, with the final due to be played in Kiev on July 1.

If convicted Terry faces a maximum fine of £2,500. He was charged in December last year and said at the time he would fight "tooth and nail" to prove his innocence.

Shocked and disgusted

Immediately after Wednesday's hearing, Terry issued a statement through his solicitors Grosvenor Law, saying: "Now that the court has fixed a date for trial, Mr Terry looks forward to the opportunity to clear his name.

"Mr Terry has consistently and resolutely maintained that his well-publicised remarks were made in the belief that he was being accused of racist abuse by Mr Ferdinand.

"Mr Terry was shocked and disgusted by that accusation at the time. Mr Terry denies making any racist statement, and will establish in court that he is not guilty of any such offence.

"Mr Terry has never racially abused another player in his entire career. Mr Terry respects the Court process and co-operated fully and proactively with those investigating this matter.

"His legal team will put forward a detailed and robust defence at a proper time and place; in a Court of law. There will be no further statement about this matter until after the trial."

Should John Terry step down as England captain?

  • Yes
  • No