England's soccer hierarchy is discussing whether or not John Terry should be allowed to remain England captain while he awaits trial on a charge of racist abuse, with a decision expected later on Friday, British media reported.

Terry on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to a charge of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match in October.

The Chelsea captain will go on trial in July, after the Euro 2012 tournament where Terry is expected to line up at the heart of England's defence alongside Ferdinand's brother, Rio.

The BBC reported that Football Association chairman David Bernstein, having spoken with the governing body's other 11 board members, was expected to speak to England manager Fabio Capello about the issue on Friday.

The 12-stong board is divided, The Times newspaper reported.

Italian Capello has so far stood by his skipper, maintaining that Terry is innocent until proven guilty, and that he should be free to select him as captain until his trial is over.

The FA launched its own inquiry after the alleged incident at Loftus Road, but deferred any judgment until after the legal investigation was completed.

(Editing by Patrick Johnston)