BERNE, Switzerland (AP) -England coach Roy Hodgson said he is hopeful that defender John Terry is cleared by the English Football Association of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers player Anton Ferdinand.
Hodgson, speaking at a press conference ahead of England's friendly against Italy on Wednesday, initially refused to speak about Terry, describing the matter as "sub judice" before giving his opinion on the Chelsea captain's situation.
"I'm hoping, and I make no secret of that, the case will take its course, that John, hopefully, will be freed as he was freed in a court of law, and will carry on playing for England," Hodgson said. "That's my hope. What will happen, I have no idea."
The 31-year-old Terry was found not guilty of racial abuse by a British court in July, but the FA is yet to conclude its own investigation into the incident that took place during a Premier League game in October 2011.
Hodgson will not be involved in the disciplinary panel making the decision regarding Terry, who has denied the charge and requested a personal hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Ferdinand is the younger brother of Manchester United defender Rio, who has 81 international caps but has yet to be involved in an England team since Hodgson replaced Fabio Capello as England coach in May 2012. Hodgson has always maintained that Ferdinand's absence has been down to footballing reasons.
Terry played all four games for England at the European Championship and Hodgson said that he wants to keep him involved with the international side - something that could be threatened if he is found guilty by the FA.
"I thought John did well in the Euros and I'd like to keep using him, but this is a case which is way out of my hands. John understands that," Hodgson said. "All I can do - like many of his supporters, I suppose - is just hope he gets freed and can continue to play."
Terry is not part of the England squad to take on Italy in Switzerland, as Hodgson has left out a number of senior members of the team in favor of younger players.
The friendly is a repeat of the Euro 2012 quarterfinal, in which England was knocked out of the competition in a penalty shootout.