Terry's retirement a major shot at the FA

John Terry's released a full statement on his retirement from the England team, and it's got some very, very punchy language. Hit it, John:

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.

Which is... wow. Terry's pointing a big old finger in the direction of the FA over the Anton Ferdinand case, and he's given us an insight into how he's going to defend himself -- he's refusing to accept that he can be charged something that he hasn't been found guilty of in a court of law.

As Kevin noted last week, by the FA's rules (p. 418, 6.8), Terry could be correct:

In any proceedings before a Regulatory Commission, the Regulatory Commission shall not
be obliged to follow the strict rules of evidence, may admit such evidence as it thinks fit and
accord such evidence such weight as it thinks appropriate in all the circumstances. Where
the subject matter of a complaint or matter before the Regulatory Commission has been
the subject of previous civil or criminal proceedings, the result of such proceedings and the
facts and matters upon which such result is based shall be presumed to be correct and the
facts presumed to be true unless it is shown, by clear and convincing evidence, that this is
not the case.

That seems like a pretty silly rule for the FA to make, because the burden of proof is of necessity far higher in a criminal court than it is for what's essentially a very high profile internal disciplinary committee. I don't think that it's at all unfair that the FA has brought the charge up in a vacuum, but that section would seem to mean it'll be virtually impossible for them to find Terry guilty. Any clear and convincing evidence would have been shown in court, and all we got was obstructed lip-reading and hearsay.

Terry knows this, and presumably the FA does too (although I'm not wholly sure they're competent enough to know what their own rules are). Which means that they're proceeding with a disciplinary hearing, one that's going to further damage the former England captain's reputation, for no reason at all. And this is the reply they're getting. It's a bit of a doozy.

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