Terry and Ferdinand face racial abuse hearing showdown at secret FA location
19:42 GMT, 22 September 2012
John Terry and Anton Ferdinand will face each other in front of a four-man independent FA disciplinary panel at a secret London location on Monday – just nine days after the Chelsea captain was publicly snubbed by the QPR defender before the Premier League clash between their clubs at Loftus Road.
Terry faces a likely four-match ban if he is found guilty of using racial language in abusing Ferdinand during a game last October.
And the FA will come under enormous pressure to ban Terry from the England team if the panel, who are expected to sit for two days, find against their former captain.
Drama: John Terry (right) tries to calm Stoke's Jonathan Walters on Saturday
Ferdinand is expected to attend in person to give evidence, as will Terry and his Chelsea team-mate, Ashley Cole.
The England defender, who gave evidence in Terry's defence when he was acquitted of a charge at Westminster Magistrates' Court of racially abusing Ferdinand, was also snubbed by the QPR man when the two teams shook hands before their Premier League match last Saturday.
Terry's legal team – led by George Carter-Stephenson QC, who defended him in court – are expected to argue that the case should not proceed because of Terry's acquittal in a criminal court.
They will cite FA rule 6.8, which governs disciplinary hearings and states that the results of relevant civil or criminal proceedings are 'presumed to be correct and the facts presumed to be true' by FA regulatory commissions.
No handshake: Anton Ferdinand (left) snubbed Terry at last week's match
However, the FA's legal team are likely to counter that the charge is distinct from the public order offence as their rules state that using language which refers to a player's colour is in itself an offence.
Terry has admitted in court that he used the phrase 'f****** black c***' to Ferdinand but said he did so while asking if Ferdinand thought he had called him that and to explain that he had not.
The FA disciplinary commission investigating the case of Liverpool's Luis Suarez, who called the Manchester United defender Patrice Evra 'negrito' – or 'a little black' – last season, ruled that simply using racist language was enough to constitute a breach of the rule.
The commission reported: 'In our judgment, the test for breach of Rule E3 (1) is objective. The question is simply whether the words or behaviour are abusive or insulting.
'This is a matter for the Commission to decide, having regard to all the relevant facts and circumstances of the case. It is not necessary that the alleged offender intends his words or behaviour to be abusive or insulting in order for him to breach Rule E3 (1).'
Terry's team argue that his words to Ferdinand were not insulting as they formed part of a genuine question.
FA hearings are decided on the balance of probability, a lower test than the standard of 'beyond reasonable doubt' required by a court.
England manager Roy Hodgson will also come under scrutiny in the next two weeks with a new England squad due to be announced.
Previously, Hodgson has omitted Ferdinand's brother, Rio, citing 'football reasons' rather than any animosity that may exist between the Ferdinand family and Terry.
However, if Ferdinand continues to hold his place in the Manchester United team over the next fortnight, the pressure on the England manager to pick him will grow, especially if Terry is unavailable to him because of a ban from England games.