John Terry Retires From International Soccer, Citing ‘Untenable’ Position on England’s National Team

John Terry Retires From International Soccer, Citing 'Untenable' Position on England's National TeamJohn Terry has played his last game for his country.

The former England captain announced his retirement from international soccer on Sunday, citing the Football Association's decision to charge him for racially abusing an opponent during a Premier League game last season, the BBC reports.

"I am today announcing my retirement from international football," Terry said in a statement.

"I would like to thank the England managers who have selected me for my 78 caps.

"I have had great pleasure in sharing that honour with all the players that I've played with. I would like to thank them, the fans and my family for their support and encouragement during my international career.

"Representing and captaining my country is what I dreamed of as a boy and it has been a truly great honour. I have always given my all and it breaks my heart to make this decision. I want to wish Roy [Hodgson] and the team every success for the future.

"I am making this statement today in advance of the hearing of the FA disciplinary charge because I feel The FA, in pursuing charges against me where I have already been cleared in a court of law, have made my position with the national team untenable.

"I now look forward to playing for Chelsea FC, and challenging for domestic and European honours, and I want to thank the fans and the club for their continued support."

Terry's FA hearing for allegedly racially abusing Queens Park Rangers (QPR) defender Anton Ferdinand starts Monday.

The controversy stems from a game between QPR and Chelsea last Oct. 23, when Terry was accused of directing racially-charged insults at Ferdinand. The on-field incident became an off-field saga, as the case went all the way to a court of law. Terry was acquited in criminal court on July 16, but the FA charged him under its own rules two weeks later. The governing boday will consider what, if any, disciplinary action to take against Terry this week.

The case has cast a cloud over England's national team for most of 2012. Former manager Fabio Capello resigned after the FA stripped Terry of the captaincy against his wishes. Roy Hodgson succeeded Capello, picked Terry for England's Euro 2012 squad, but left Anton Ferdinand's brother Rio off the squad for what he called "football reasons." England made it to the quarterfinal of the tournament where it fell to Italy on penalty kicks.

Terry's international career ends after nine years and 78 games. He played for England at three major tournaments — FIFA World Cups in 2006 and 2010 and the UEFA European Championships in 2004 and 2012.

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