Terry slapped with FA charge
John Terry has been charged with using alleged racist language towards Anton Ferdinand by the Football Association.
A fortnight after being cleared in court of racially abusing QPR defender Ferdinand, Chelsea captain Terry faced being sanctioned by the FA over the same incident.
Terry immediately denied the charge in a statement, saying: "I deny the charge and I will be requesting the opportunity to attend the commission for a personal hearing.''
The FA said in their statement: "Chelsea captain John Terry has been charged by the Football Association with using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, the FA have confirmed.
"It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Ferdinand."
Terry was found not guilty of calling Ferdinand a "f****** black c***" during a five-day trial that ended two weeks ago, with District Judge Howard Riddle ruling there was reasonable doubt whether the words were intended as an insult.
Terry has always maintained they were not, insisting they formed part of a denial to an accusation of racism from Ferdinand during Chelsea's Premier League defeat at QPR on October 23.
He was acquitted on that basis but the FA refused to drop their own investigation into the matter, which they had put on hold as soon as Terry was charged with a criminal offence.
Whereas the prosecution in Terry's trial had to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the FA disciplinary commission can reach verdicts purely on the balance of probabilities, a much lower burden of proof.
They did just that in December when Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was handed an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
Terry could face even more dire consequences if found guilty.
He has already lost the England captaincy over the mere allegation and his international career would effectively be ended by a guilty verdict.
It would also place enormous pressure on Chelsea, where he has been skipper for more than eight years, and who have taken a hard line on racism among their own supporters.
There were suggestions Ferdinand could also be charged with using insulting words but, as of Friday night, it was only Terry who was facing punishment.
Although there were widespread reports the FA's decision whether to charge Terry was expected by the weekend, their announcement was made just hours before the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, one of the biggest nights in the country's sporting history.