Terry cleared of racially abusing player in match


LONDON — A magistrate has cleared Chelsea captain John Terry of racially abusing an opponent during a Premier League match after one of the most high-profile trials involving a soccer player.

The case led to Terry being stripped of the England captaincy by the Football Association ahead of the European Championship and the departure of coach Fabio Capello who disagreed with the decision.

After hearing four days of evidence at a London court, chief magistrate Howard Riddle decided Friday that Terry was not guilty of a racially aggravated public order offense in a confrontation with Queens Park Rangers player Anton Ferdinand during the match in October.

Terry maintained he only used an offensive term sarcastically to counter the obscenity he claims Ferdinand was accusing him of using.