Terry was alleged to have called Ferdinand a ‘fucking black c**t’ during a Premier League match at Ranger’s Loftus Road ground, in October.

Terry defence team suggested that he had said the words ironically, questioning Ferdinand’s accusation.

Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said: “In those circumstances, there being a doubt, the only verdict the court can record is one of not guilty.”

During his verdict Riddle said that court was not there to decide “whether Terry is a racist”.

Riddle said the weight of evidence suggested that Terry was not racist and said he understood that Terry’s “reputation was at stake”.

Alison Saunders, of the CPS, said: “The very serious allegation at the heart of this case was one of racial abuse.

“It was our view that this was not banter on the football pitch and that the allegation should be judged by a court.

“The Chief Magistrate agreed that Terry had a case to answer, but having heard all of the evidence he acquitted Terry of a racially aggravated offence.

“That is justice being done and we respect the Chief Magistrate’s decision.”

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said: “We are pleased that John can now put his mind to football and go back to training and do what he’s done for many years.”

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