John Terry will remain the head of England’s football team despite facing charges for racism against QPR footballer Anton Ferdinand.

A spokesman for campaigning group Hope Not Hate said:

It seems incredible that John Terry can continue as England captain while this charge is hanging over him. Most members of an organisation facing similar charges would find themselves suspended until the matter is resolved. He is not even facing a football-related matter – this is a serious criminal charge which has attracted a huge amount of attention.

The Chelsea footballer is accused of calling Ferdinand a ‘f****** black ****’ during a match at QPR’s Loftus Road stadium in October.

Terry will appear in court next February but the case is likely to drag on for up to six months as lawyers prepare for a trial. The maximum punishment Terry faces is a £2,500 fine, a minuscule sum compared to his £160,000-a-week salary.

Last night, the 31-year-old said he was ‘disappointed’ with the decision made by the The Crown Prosecution Service and hoped to clear his name ‘as quickly as possible’, adding

I have never aimed a racist remark at anyone and count people from all races and creeds among my closest friends.

Right Terry, we’ve heard that one before.

England manager Fabio Capello has kept Terry as England captain despite the charge and said the defender is innocent until proven guilty. Terry lost the captaincy in 2010, after claims that he had an affair with the ex-girlfriend of his England team-mate Wayne Bridge, but regained it earlier this year.

And it seems like cheating on your missus in the football world is worse than racism these days.