Bloomberg News

England Soccer Captain Terry Pleads Not Guilty to Racism Charges

February 02, 2012

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- England soccer captain John Terry will fight criminal charges that he racially abused Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during an Oct. 23 Premier League match.

Lawyers for Terry pleaded not guilty on his behalf at a London criminal court today, said Rachael Collins, a spokeswoman for the court. Terry, who plays for Premier League team Chelsea, didn’t appear at Westminster Magistrates Court, she said.

Prosecutors charged Terry in December with using “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior” that was “within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress which was racially aggravated” during the October soccer game at Loftus Road Stadium in London.

Alison Saunders, the chief prosecutor for London, said she was “satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute this case.”

Chelsea lost the game 1-0. Terry faces a maximum fine of 2,500 pounds ($3,900) if convicted.

--Editors: Christopher Scinta, Anthony Aarons

To contact the reporter on this story: Lindsay Fortado in London at lfortado@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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