England football captain John Terry is to face criminal charges over allegations that he racially abused the Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a recent Premier League game.
The Chelsea defender will appear in court on February 1, 2012 and could be fined up to 3,200 euros if found guilty. That is a fraction of his weekly wage, but with Euro 2012 approaching the damage to his image could be immense.
The West London club, who play Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday, have backed their captain who has denied the charge of making a racist comment to Anton Ferdinand, younger brother of Terry’s international team mate Rio. Terry says he will fight “tooth and nail” to clear his name.
The Chief Crown Prosecutor for London issued a statement saying it is in the public interest to prosecute the case.
The development comes a day after Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was given an eight-match ban after being found guilty by the English FA of making racially abusive comments to Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.