John Terry retires from England duty over Ferdinand hearing

Former England captain John Terry has announced his retirement from international football.

The defender, who has won 78 caps, was cleared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in July of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League game.

But the Chelsea star, 31, still faces a Football Association disciplinary hearing over the matter on Monday.

Terry said the FA's decision to pursue charges against him meant his position with England had become "untenable"

Terry was cleared of abusing Ferdinand following the culmination of his trial on 13 July but was subsequently charged by the FA two weeks later for using alleged "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" towards the QPR defender during October's game at Loftus Road.

The court heard accusations Terry had insulted Ferdinand, describing him as "black" and using extreme sexual swear words.

The prosecution had to prove beyond reasonable doubt Terry had used the words in an insulting manner, which it could not.

However, the FA, whose charge includes an alleged "reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Ferdinand", only has to prove its case "on the balance of probabilities".

The defender telephoned England manager Roy Hodgson to inform him of his decision before he released his statement on Sunday evening.

The FA said they would not be commenting on Terry's retirement.

Terry, who had two separate stints as England captain, played in the 5-0 World Cup qualifier victory over Moldova on 7 September. He made his debut in a 2-1 friendly victory over Serbia and Montenegro in 2003.

Terry was appointed as David Beckham's successor as England skipper in 2006 but was stripped of the position in 2010 following allegations he had an affair with then England team-mate Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend.

He was re-appointed in March 2011, but the FA relieved him of the role again in February, a decision which precipitated the departure of manager Fabio Capello.

In a statement, Terry said: "I am today announcing my retirement from international football.

"Representing and captaining my country is what I dreamed of as a boy and it has been a truly great honour. I have always given my all and it breaks my heart to make this decision. I want to wish Roy and the team every success for the future.

"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.

"I now look forward to playing for Chelsea and challenging for domestic and European honours, and I want to thank the fans and the club for their continued support.

"I would like to thank the England managers who have selected me for my 78 caps. I have had great pleasure in sharing that honour with all the players that I've played with.

"I would like to thank them, the fans and my family for their support and encouragement during my international career."

England face a pair of World Cup qualifiers next month. First they welcome San Marino to Wembley on 12 October and then, four days later, meet Poland in Warsaw.