Little sympathy as John Terry quits England and blames FA
Chelsea defender claims his England position was untenable because of racism charge
FORMER England captain John Terry has quit international football on the eve of his FA disciplinary hearing over claims that he racially abused Anton Ferdinand. Announcing his decision, the Chelsea defender claimed the FA had made his position "untenable" by pursuing him over the allegations, even though he was acquitted in a court case during the summer.
However, there is little sympathy for the player, who was twice stripped of the England captaincy during his career, and many observers believe it was inevitable that he would end up being forced to abandon England.
"It was never going to end well," said Matt Lawton in the Daily Mail. In some ways his decision is "sad" as he has represented England "with distinction", but it is also "predictable given his consistent failure to recognise the responsibility that comes with being the captain on England".
And there is an element of irony in his efforts to blame the authorities. "Before he complained of the FA making his position 'untenable', he perhaps should have reflected on how often he has made the situation untenable for the England management," said Lawton.
Terry's argument against the FA is "tenuous" said Kevin Mitchell in The Guardian. His claim is "undeserving of sympathy and badly undermined by the fact the FA has a duty, surely, to convene its own inquiry when a Premier League footballer – at the time the England captain, no less – is accused of calling an opponent a 'f***ing black c***'".
And few will mourn his passing. "Terry, over time, has become firmly established as one of football's bad guys," added Mitchell.
"He embodies much of the arrogance and ego that alienates many people from modern football," according to Henry Winter in The Daily Telegraph. "Whether it was the Wayne Bridge saga, the dispute with Anton Ferdinand and subsequent fallout with Rio Ferdinand or the impression he gave that the England armband belonged to him, Terry had become a toxic asset in international week," he wrote. "Too much additional baggage needed loading on the England bus when Terry boarded."
Despite, or perhaps because, of his image Terry suffers more abuse than most other players. "It will be hard being John Terry from now on," argued Tony Evans in The Times. "He will be chided without the shield of being an England hero to hide behind. Yet it is difficult to feel sympathy. Whatever the legalities of what happened at Loftus Road 11 months ago, the game has been tarnished. Terry did the right thing last night. It may well have been the hardest thing he’s ever done."
But he was left with little choice according to Martin Samuel in the Mail. "Sometime this week at a London hotel, or in the near future via the Football Association website, John Terry will be found guilty of the racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand. Terry clearly thinks that, too. This is why he has retired from international football."