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Terry's racism trial begins

09 July 2012, 16:36

England - The racism trial of John Terry began Monday with prosecutors claiming the Chelsea captain acknowledges using offensive language as a "sarcastic exclamation" in response to taunts he allegedly had an affair.

The England defender is accused of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand, who is black, during a Premier League match in October.

"The term '(expletive) black (expletive)' was uttered as an abusive insult demonstrating hostility based on Mr. Ferdinand's membership of a racial group," Duncan Penny said, opening the prosecution case in Westminster Magistrates' Court.

"They were uttered by the defendant in response to goading by Mr. Ferdinand on the issue of his extra-marital affair, rather than by way of exaggerated and instant querying of a perceived false allegation."

Terry was stripped of the England captaincy before the 2010 World Cup following allegations he had an affair with teammate Wayne Bridge's former girlfriend.

Terry regained the captaincy but lost it again in February with this trial pending ahead of the European Championship, at which he played in all four of England's games last month.

Two weeks after the quarterfinal loss to Italy, Terry was in the dock making notes in a case in which his reputation is on the line.

Terry's defense is that he was only repeating racially abusive words on the pitch that Ferdinand said he had used during their confrontation.

"My use of these words were intended to make it plain I had not called him a black (expletive)," Terry said in police interviews read out to the court.

"I felt he was accusing me of making a racist remark, which is simply not true."

Terry claimed that Ferdinand had shouted a "number of abusive comments" toward him and made "at least one obscene gesture with his hand, a pumping action clearly directed at me and no other Chelsea player."

- Sapa / AP


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