John Terry and Anton Ferdinand: Disputed remarks

Chelsea and England footballer John Terry is in court facing a charge of a racially-aggravated public order offence.

This relates to a comment allegedly made by the Chelsea captain to the QPR defender Anton Ferdinand when the teams played at Loftus Road last October. Mr Terry denies the allegation.

Here is a summary of the accounts which have emerged so far about what was said between the two men, based on what the court has heard.

(Warning: Contains repeated use of very strong language)

On the pitch

The game took place at QPR's Loftus Road ground in London on 23 October 2011.

Chelsea were down to nine men in the game, and Mr Ferdinand and Mr Terry began trading insults over a penalty claim, the court heard.

The QPR defender said he was angry at Mr Terry trying to get a penalty and "he barged me in the back for no reason".

Mr Ferdinand told the court Mr Terry insulted him with sexual swear words and made a gesture as if to say his breath smelled.

Start Quote

I was very angry and I was upset”

End Quote John Terry

Mr Ferdinand said he asked how Mr Terry could say that, because "you shagged your team-mate's missus" and he then swore back at the Chelsea player.

This was a reference to Mr Terry's alleged affair with Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Perroncel.

The court heard that Mr Ferdinand then jogged down the pitch, while making a fist gesture, intended for Mr Terry, to imply sex.

It also heard that Mr Terry has accepted how, when both players were around the half-way line of the pitch, he used the words "fucking black cunt".

But the court also heard that Mr Terry maintains he was only sarcastically repeating what Mr Ferdinand incorrectly thought he had said.

During Mr Terry's testimony in Westminster Magistrates Court, he said that as the pair traded insults, he heard Mr Ferdinand using this racist phrase.

Mr Terry told the court he thought Mr Ferdinand was accusing him of using the phrase.

"I was very angry and I was upset. I replied 'a black cunt, you fucking knobhead'".

After the match

After the match, Mr Ferdinand told the court, Chelsea defender Ashley Cole told him: "You can't talk to JT [John Terry] like that."

George Carter-Stephenson QC, defending Mr Terry, gave the court further details about the exchange between Mr Cole and Mr Ferdinand.

This included Mr Cole asking Mr Ferdinand: "Did you think JT called you a black cunt? You know he isn't like that."

Start Quote

It's handbags, innit - it's what happens on the pitch”

End Quote Anton Ferdinand

Immediately after the match, Mr Ferdinand did not think that Mr Terry had used racist words, the court heard.

Later, Mr Terry asked a steward to get Mr Ferdinand from the QPR dressing room.

"Mr Terry said, 'Do you think I racially abused you?'. I was like, 'No'," Mr Ferdinand told the court.

"I said 'No, that never came out of my mouth'. Then Ashley Cole popped his head round and said: 'Yeah, didn't you say that to me?' I said: 'I didn't say that at all'."

Mr Ferdinand told the court: "It's handbags, innit - it's what happens on the pitch," and said he shook hands with Mr Terry.

Video footage

Later still after the match, Mr Ferdinand's then-girlfriend showed him a clip of the exchange with Mr Terry, which was posted on YouTube. It was then that he believed Mr Terry had used a racist term.

Mr Ferdinand told the court that if he had realised this at the time he would have told officials.

He said: "I would have been obviously very hurt and I probably wouldn't have reacted at the time because, being a professional, you can't do that. I probably would have let the officials know what happened and dealt with it after the game.

"When someone brings your colour into it, it takes it to another level and it's very hurtful."

Terry's statement

Mr Terry made a statement to police last November, in which he said he was offended by the accusation that he had used racist language.

He said his words to Mr Ferdinand were meant to make it clear that he had not used a racist insult.

The statement read: "Whilst footballers are used to industrial language, using racist terms is completely unacceptable whatever [the] situation.

"I was completely taken aback by this remark as I have never been accused of something like that and I did not take his remark lightly at all, and took strong offence to his suggestion."

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