Now that the Crown Prosecution Service have ruled that John Terry will be charged with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand surely he must lose the England captaincy.

Fair enough that the Chelsea skipper must be given the chance to prove his innocence. But it makes sense to relieve Terry of his England role while he prepares for his appearance before West London magistrates on 1st February 2012. He has been recommended for prosecution for ‘a racially aggravated public order offence.’

England’s next match is the Wembley friendly with Holland on February 29. Far less embarrassing for Terry to step down now than to be stripped of the captaincy if he is found guilty in court.

Reacting to the news , Terry said: ‘I am disappointed with the decision to charge me and hope to be given the chance to clear my name as quickly as possible. ‘I have never aimed a racist remark at anyone and count people from all races and creeds among my closest friends.

‘I will fight tooth and nail to prove my innocence. I have campaigned against racism and believe there is no place for it in society.’

The case will not go to the Crown Court and the maximum punishment available is a fine of £2,500

Whatever the outcome of the court case, it is important to recognise that even if Terry is found guilty that does not necessarily mean he is a racist person. Whether or not a person is genuinely racist does not excuse that person from being racially abusive.