Former England football captain John Terry said he suffered continual abuse during football matches but was not prepared to put up with being branded a racist, his trial heard yesterday.
Westminster Magistrates Court in London was played a recording of an interview between Chelsea skipper Terry and an investigator from the Football Association (FA), the sport’s governing body in England.
The central defender is accused of calling Queens Park Rangers player Anton Ferdinand a “f****** black c***” during a match between Chelsea and QPR on October 23 last year.
The 31-year-old denies committing a racially aggravated public order offence.
A week after the incident, Terry was called in for an interview with FA investigator Jennifer Kennedy.
“I have been called a lot of things in my football career and off the pitch, but being called a racist I am not prepared to take,” the court heard Terry saying on the tape.
“That’s why I came out and made my statement immediately. I am not having Anton thinking that about me or anyone else.
He told the investigator he was repeating back to Ferdinand what he believed the QPR defender he had said to him.
He said he thought Ferdinand was accusing him of calling him those words.
“I was taken aback by that. I have never been accused of that,” he said.
Tuesday is the second day of Terry’s trial, which is expected to last five days. Meanwhile, Terry’s lawyers asked for the racial abuse case to be dismissed from court, calling it “weak and tenuous.”
The 31-year-old’s lawyer George Carter-Stephenson applied to judge Howard Riddle to dismiss the case, saying Ferdinand was an unreliable witness. Lip-reading experts agreed it was impossible to clarify what was said at the key moment from the footage, he added. —