UK & World News
John Terry Quits England Before FA Hearing
Former England captain John Terry has retired from international football just hours before a Football Association hearing into claims he racially abused an opponent was due to begin.
In a statement, he said: "I am making this statement today (Sunday) 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."
If found guilty by the FA he could face a lengthy ban, similar to the one served by Liverpool's Luis Suarez last year, and could also have have been dropped by England had he not retired.
The 31-year-old Chelsea defender denies using a racial slur against QPR's Anton Ferdinand and was found not guilty of a racially-aggravated public order offence at Westminster Magistrates' Court in July.
He was stripped of the captaincy while he awaited trial, but was allowed to continue playing for England.
Neil Ashton, of the Daily Mail, told Sky News: "This will have taken the FA and England manager Roy Hodgson by complete surprise.
"John Terry has been committed to the England team ever since he first knew he would be facing criminal charges.
"He has had a chequered career for club and country, there is no doubt about that, but to walk away from the England team just shows the depth of feeling and perhaps animosity towards the FA."
Hodgson had repeatedly made it clear he wanted Terry in his squad as England try to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Terry was capped 78 times after making his debut against Serbia and Montenegro in 2003.
He was named captain by Fabio Capello in 2008 but lost the position in 2010 over allegations of an affair with the partner of former teammate Wayne Bridge.
He was handed the armband again in 2011 before the 14-strong FA board stripped it from him in February.
"I would like to thank the England managers who have selected me for my 78 caps," he said in his statement.
"I have had great pleasure in sharing that honour 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 honour.
"I have always given my all and it breaks my heart to make this decision."
On its website, Chelsea FC said: "This was a personal and difficult decision for John to take as playing for and captaining his country was a boyhood dream."