The former England football captain John Terry has appeared in a London court to answer a charge of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match nine months ago.
The high-profile case, focusing on foul language from both players, triggered the resignation in February of England's Italian manager Fabio Capello after the FA decided to strip Terry of the captain's armband for the European championship.
Terry has denied the charge, claiming he was sarcastically repeating what Ferdinand mistakenly thought he had said.
He faces a fine of 2,500 pounds if convicted.
The hearing is expected to last five days.