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'I called Ferdinand a black c**t but I was being sarcastic'

CHELSEA captain John Terry admitted using a racial insult but claimed he was only being sarcastic, a court has heard.

Terry told police he used the words "f***ing black c***" during a game against Queens Park Rangers, although he said he was only sarcastically repeating an accusation from opposing player Anton Ferdinand.

Former England captain Terry said he heard Ferdinand "say something which ended with the words 'calling me a black c***'," the court in London heard on the first day of the trial.

Terry said he was reacting to Ferdinand's allegation that he was calling him a "black c***" and he repeated the phrase sarcastically.

His lawyer accused Ferdinand of making up the allegations after earlier failed attempts to "wind up" Terry by referring to an extra-marital affair he had with Vanessa Perroncel (pictured), the former girlfriend of former teammate Wayne Bridge.

Turmoil

The trial highlights interaction between players in the world's richest soccer league and comes after the incident created turmoil in the English game.

National team coach Fabio Capello quit after the Football Association stripped Terry of the England captaincy for the second time.

The FA's decision came after Chelsea asked to delay the trial, arguing the case would disrupt its season.

Ferdinand (27) was the first witness called to give evidence against Terry, who is accused of a racially aggravated public order offence for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour against the QPR player.

If convicted, Terry could be fined as much as €3,000.

Testimony from Ferdinand, lip-reading experts and several video replays were used to illustrate the confrontation, which took place late in a game at QPR's Loftus Road on October 23.

Police officers involved in the investigation were due to give evidence today.

hnews@herald.ie