The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised the prosecution of John Terry for a racially aggravated public order offence.The charge relates to an incident in which the Chelsea and England captain was accused of making a racist remark to QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
Terry strongly denies the allegation.
Alison Saunders, Chief Crown Prosecutor for London said: "I have today advised the Metropolitan Police Service that John Terry should be prosecuted for a racially aggravated public order offence following comments allegedly made during a Premier League football match between Queen’s Park Rangers and Chelsea on 23 October 2011.
"The decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and after careful consideration of all the evidence I am satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute this case.
"Mr Terry will appear before West London Magistrates’ Court on 1 February 2012.
"He is now summonsed with a criminal offence and has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice his trial."
The full CPS charge to Terry read: "On 23rd October at Loftus Road Stadium you used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress which was racially aggravated in accordance with section 28 or the Crime and Disorder Act 1998."
Manager Andre Villas-Boas said before the verdict was announced that Chelsea would stand by Terry.
"The only thing I know is that I will be fully supportive of John Terry, whatever the outcome," he said. "He has my full support, he has the club's full support.
"We know exactly his human values and personality. They are never in doubt."