x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Roy Hodgson disappointed to lose John Terry

The Chelsea captain is back at Wembley today to defend the charge of using rascist language.

Roy Hodgson, the England manager, tried unsuccessfully to persuade John Terry to change his decision to retire from international football, it has emerged.

Terry, who returns to Wembley this morning for the second day of a disciplinary hearing over a charge he used racist language towards Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand, had phoned Hodgson to inform him of his decision.

Hodgson tried to persuade him otherwise but Terry - who denies the charge - was adamant it was "untenable" for him to play for England with the English Football Association pursuing the case.

Hodgson released a statement saying he "reluctantly accepts" Terry's choice.

He said: "I'd like to thank John Terry for his commitment to the England team since I became manager.

"I am of course disappointed to lose a player of John's international experience and exceptional ability.

"I have enjoyed a good relationship with John during my time as England manager and I reluctantly accept his decision.

"I can also confirm that he had the courtesy to call me prior to announcement his retirement from the England team.

"I'd like to wish John well for the future with Chelsea."

Terry effectively accused the FA of forcing his hand after they pursued charges despite him being cleared in court of a racially-aggravated public order offence over the same incident last October.

FA general secretary Alex Horne denied this, however, telling Sky Sports News: "I don't see how we've made it untenable - they're two very separate processes.

"It's something that happened in a match between QPR and Chelsea - it shouldn't be taking a year to resolve but we feel we're reaching a conclusion on that.

"That's a very different process, from my perspective, from our England procedures.

"They sit in different compartments and I could separate the two in my mind.

"But unfortunately it doesn't look like he could."

Meanwhile, former Chelsea manager Avram Grant has criticised the FA for taking the action against Terry, and was surprised by his decision to call time on his England career.

He told BBC Radio Five: "Nobody thinks that John Terry is a racist so the FA need to leave it.

"John likes to fight and he's very passionate about the national team so I was surprised. But he's not a child - he knows what he's doing.

"One thing I must say about JT is that he's not a racist - that's for sure. He's a good man."