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Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011

F.A. investigates Terry over racism complaint


LONDON — England captain John Terry is being investigated by The Football Association and police over allegations he racially abused a black opponent while playing for Chelsea.

News photo
Under scrutiny: Chelsea's John Terry (right) exchanges words with QPR's Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road on Sunday. AP

Terry was accused of directing a racial slur at Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during Sunday's 1-0 Premier League loss, and footage of the incident has spread on the internet.

It is the latest incident to blight Terry's scandal-plagued career, coming just seven months before he is due to lead England at the European Championship. The center back only regained the England captaincy in March — from Ferdinand's brother Rio- after being forgiven for a sex scandal by coach Fabio Capello ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

The result of the investigation launched by the F.A. on Tuesday evening could again throw into question his suitability as England captain.

"The F.A. can confirm it has received a complaint relating to an alleged incident of racist abuse in the QPR versus Chelsea fixture," English soccer's governing body said in a statement. "The F.A. will now begin to make enquiries into this matter. The F.A. takes seriously any allegations of discrimination and abuse of this type."

A separate investigation was launched at Scotland Yard.

"We can confirm that police have been notified of an incident . . . involving alleged racial abuse," the London police force said. "This is currently being assessed by officers."

The 30-year-old Terry said the alleged comments directed at Ferdinand — who is black — were taken out of context by social media users who spread the video on Sunday night.

"I thought Anton was accusing me of using a racist slur against him," he said after the match. "I responded aggressively, saying that I never used that term."

After the F.A. investigation was opened, Terry released another statement saying: "I welcome the F.A. enquiry and look forward to clearing my name as soon as possible."

QPR, which is back in the Premier League after 15 years, spent two days assessing the incident with Ferdinand before deciding to submit a complaint to the F.A. against its west London rival.

"Queens Park Rangers Football Club does not condone racism in any way, shape or form," chairman Tony Fernandes said. "As a club, we will provide our players with our unequivocal support when alleged incidents like this occur."

United, Arsenal through


London — Manchester United bounced back from its derby humiliation by cruising to a 3-0 victory over fourth-tier club Aldershot in the League Cup, while Arsenal overcame Premier League rival Bolton 2-1 to advance to the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen and Antonio Valencia scored United's goals at Aldershot after being left out of the team that lost 6-1 to Manchester City on Sunday.

"Sometimes you need a kick in the teeth to get going again," Owen said. "And we were eager to bounce back."

Arsenal, which lost last season's League Cup final to Birmingham, recovered from a goal down against Bolton, with Andrei Arshavin and Park Chu Young securing the home side's progress.

In Tuesday's other cup matches, Cardiff beat Burnley 1-0 while second-tier leader Southampton lost 2-0 to Crystal Palace.

United had the perfect tonic after its heaviest home defeat in the league since 1955, with a completely changed team having little trouble disposing of the lowest-ranked side left in the League Cup.

"We were under a little bit of pressure after the result at the weekend," Owen said. "We had United's reputation to look after . . . we wanted to bounce and thankfully we got the result."

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