JOHN Terry used a racist obscenity against Anton Ferdinand after taunts about an alleged affair, a court heard today.
The 31-year-old Chelsea defender is accused of a racially-aggravated public order offence during a Premier League match on October 23 last year, which was broadcast to millions of people.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that Terry used a racist obscenity against Ferdinand, who plays for Queens Park Rangers, as the pair exchanged insults.
Terry has lodged a not guilty plea.
Opening the prosecution today, Duncan Penny said: “The Crown alleges that the words he used demonstrated hostility based on Mr Ferdinand’s membership or presumed membership of a racial group.”
The court heard that Terry maintains he was only sarcastically repeating words that Ferdinand wrongly thought he had used.
Mr Penny said: “The Crown’s case is that the words were abusive and insulting in a straightforward sense.
“They were uttered by the defendant in response to goading by Mr Ferdinand on the issue of his extra-marital affair, rather than by way of exaggerated and instant querying of a perceived false allegation.”
The trial is being heard by Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle, and there is no jury.
Both television clips and unbroadcast footage of the incident, which would normally be used for training purposes, were shown to the court.
It is claimed Ferdinand made a comment about Terry’s alleged affair with his mate’s girlfriend and made hand gestures, before Terry responded.
Mr Ferdinand today told the court he found alleged racist abuse by John Terry “very hurtful”.
He said initially he did not think any racist terms had been used.
But after the match his girlfriend at the time played him a YouTube clip, and he became convinced one had.
Mr Ferdinand said if he had realised at the time he would have told officials. He said: “I would have been obviously very hurt. I probably would have let the officials know. When someone brings your colour into it, it takes it to another level and it’s very hurtful.”
The trial continues.