Terry to get England reprieve
John Terry will continue to be selected for England, and captain the national team, while he awaits the outcome of an FA investigation into his alleged racist abuse of Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand, writes Sam Wallace.
The FA disciplinary and control department has already embarked on what is arguably the most sensitive and potentially difficult case the governing body has faced in recent times, but has agreed that there is no way that the player can be excluded before a judgment has been made.
Fabio Capello has been informed of the decision and he is certain to pick Terry, if fit, for the friendlies against Spain and Sweden next month, providing the FA has not come to a judgment against the player by then.
It is unlikely that Rio Ferdinand, the brother of Anton and formerly captain of England, will be picked for the Spain game on November 12 or for Sweden three days later as Capello will try to blood new players and give game time to less experienced players.
The FA yesterday refused to put any time frame on the investigation into Terry.
It will not escape the attention of the Ferdinand camp that Rio was excluded from the England squad as soon as he was charged with having missed a drugs test in October 2003.
It is not clear whether Anton himself will testify that he heard the alleged abuse from Terry, with suggestions yesterday that he was not aware of anything from the Chelsea captain until he was told after the game about the furore.
It is QPR who have asked the FA to investigate.
The evidence of Ashley Cole is crucial. The England left-back and long-term friend of Terry, who is of mixed race, was close to his team-mate when the alleged comment was made.
Irish Independent Sport Star Awards
Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.