Chelsea captain John Terry has been found not guilty of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
Terry was charged with a racially-aggravated public order offence following the west London derby at Loftus Road last October.
The former England skipper strongly denied the charge, arguing that he was repeating what Ferdinand had incorrectly accused him of saying.
Terry had described himself as “angry and upset” over the claims.
In his written judgement, Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said that after assessing the evidence it was “highly unlikely” that Terry abused Ferdinand in the manner he was accused of.
He continued: “The prosecution evidence as to what was said by Mr Ferdinand at this point is not strong.
“It is therefore possible that what he [Terry] said was not intended as an insult, but rather as a challenge to what he believed had been said to him.
“In those circumstances, there being a doubt, the only verdict the court can record is one of not guilty.”
Following the verdict, an FA spokesman said: “The FA notes the decision in the John Terry case and will now seek to conclude its own inquiries.”
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, who attended the trial, said: “Chelsea Football Club notes and, of course, we respect the decision of the magistrate today.
“We are pleased John can now put his mind to football, go back to training and do what he has been doing for many years.”