John Terry is about to face the soccer public for the first time since being charged with alleged racism comments when he captains Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur in the upcoming Premier League match on Thursday.
The 31-year-old England captain was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence by the Crown Prosecution Service yesterday during an incident with Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match back in October. Terry will appear at the magistrates court in West London on the 1st February where he is expected to plead not guilty to the alleged racism comments which he vehemently denies. He is sure to a receive a hostile reception at White Hart Lane, where he has been sent off for Chelsea twice in the last five seasons.
Terry’s case made the front and back pages of most of Thursday’s papers, with some supporters’ groups calling for him to be stripped of the England captaincy. However, Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas believes that Terry can cope with the stress of the case in addition to having to come out victorious against Tottenham. ”John has told me he is in the right frame of mind to play and has shown fantastic commitment to the team,” said Villas-Boas.
Tottenham have warned fans that stewards will adopt a “zero tolerance” policy towards any abuse against Terry and will be wearing headcams to record and monitor the crowds.