The Metropolitan Police has commenced with an formal probe into allegations that John Terry, the captain of the Chelsea football club racially abused Anton Ferdinand, a defender for Queen’s Park Rangers during a match on October 23 that Chelsea lost 1-0.

Terry, 30, who is also captain of England’s national football team, has denied making any racist slurs Ferdinand.

Right after the match was over, Terry said the incident was a misunderstanding and asserted his accusers have leapt to the wrong conclusions about the context of what I was seen to be saying.

He added: I would never say such a thing - and I'm saddened that people would think so.

Ferdinand is black, Terry is white.

According to British media, the police had been assessing a complaint from someone in the public before finding enough information to launch an investigation.

The Football Association (FA) is also examining the incident.

Ferdinand released a statement on Monday that he has very strong feelings about the incident, but refrained from providing any details until after the FA probe had been complete.

Reportedly, Ferdinand has received more racist abuse on his Twitter account.

In the event Terry is found guilty, he would be in danger of losing the England captaincy,

He already lost that title once – in February 2010, after allegations emerged that he had an affair with the ex-girlfriend of Wayne Bridge, an international teammate. Coach Fabio Capello then reinstated him in March 2011.