The ongoing dispute between the English FA and former national team captain John Terry reached a crescendo Sunday when he announced his international retirement. Terry, 31, made
his move less than 24 hours before an FA hearing that had been scheduled to discuss his alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand during a league game nearly a year ago.
A five-day trial in Westminster Magistrates' Court two months ago had cleared Terry of all charges but the FA's decision to conduct its own inquiry prompted his decision. He was stripped of the captaincy last February, which prompted Fabio Capello to resign as national team coach in protest.
The FA feared the incident would affect the national team's camarderie and in particular spark conflicts with Rio Ferdinand, Anton Ferdinand's brother and like Terry an England international. Rio Ferdinand wasn't named to England's squad for the 2012 European Championships; Terry played in all four matches.
"I am today announcing my retirement from international football," Terry said. "I would like to thank the England managers who have selected me for my 78 caps. I have had great pleasure in sharing that honor with all the players that I've 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 honor."
Terry was previously shorn of the captaincy in 2010 following allegations of an affair he had with the girlfriend of a former teammate. His retirement from the national team doesn't affect his status with Chelsea, for which he has played his entire club career.