Chelsea and England captain John Terry has vowed to clear his name after the Football Association launched a potentially-devastating investigation into allegations that he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
The FA announced on Tuesday night that it would look into claims that Terry allegedly aimed a racial slur at Ferdinand during Sunday's west London derby at Loftus Road. Terry has denied verbally abusing the 26-year-old, but should the FA, or worse still, the police, deem otherwise the decision could have a ruinous effect on the defender's future in the game.
Terry was in a bullish mood on Tuesday night, however, and vowed to clear his name, saying: "I welcome the FA enquiry and look forward to clearing my name as soon as possible. Until then I have no further comment."
Terry had issued a statement after the match denying he had racially abused Ferdinand and the two players met in the away dressing room after the match so the England international could explain his version of events.
Ferdinand appears not to have been satisfied with the Chelsea man's explanation, however, with the FA confirming it had been asked to look in to the allegations.
"Queens Park Rangers Football Club does not condone racism in any way, shape or form," said Hoops chairman Tony Fernandes in a statement on his club`s official website, backing his player. As a club, we will provide our players with our unequivocal support when alleged incidents like this occur."
Kick it Out chairman Lord Herman Ouseley is particularly worried about the effect another racism investigation will have at grass roots level so close to similar racism claims Patrice Evra made against Luis Suarez - accusations the Uruguay striker denies.
Lord Ouseley said: "It is of great regret that in Kick It Out's 'One Game, One Community' weeks of action, backed by all 92 professional clubs, two high-profile incidents of alleged racist abuse have taken place.
"This is worrying and potentially very damaging; what happens at the top end of the game has an impact at grass roots level and at parks pitches across the country.
"Kick It Out condemns discrimination in any form and hopes matters are investigated properly."