Former England captain John Terry has announced his retirement from international football, accusing the Football Association of making his position with the team 'untenable'.
The Chelsea skipper's personal hearing to answer an FA charge he used "abusive and/or insulting words" that "included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Anton Ferdinand" in last October's Premier League clash at Queens Park Rangers is due to begin on Monday.
Terry has already categorically denied the charge and is set to do so again in person more than two months after being found not guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court.
But the affair has led to the man who won 78 caps for his country calling time on his career with the Three Lions, with his parting shot pointing the finger firmly at the game's governing body.
Sky Sports understands that Terry made contact with England boss Roy Hodgson to make him aware of his intentions before making the shock announcement.
Terry released a statement which read: "I am today announcing my retirement from international football.
"I would like to thank the England managers who have selected me for my 78 caps. I have had great pleasure in sharing that honour with all the players that I have played with.
"I would like to thank them, the fans and my family for their support and encouragement during my international career.
"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 his statement today 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.
"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."
Terry made his England debut in 2003 as a substitute against Serbia and Montenegro.
He was named permanent captain in 2008 by Fabio Capello but was then stripped of the role in February 2010 following allegations over an affair with the former partner of England team-mate Wayne Bridge.
He regained the armband in March 2011 but lost it once more in February. The decision was then taken by members of the 14-strong FA board, without consulting Capello - a decision which prompted the Italian to resign.
Will England miss John Terry?