England

Terry stripped of England captaincy

John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy.
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The Football Association have confirmed that John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy until after his racism court trial.

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The decision was explained to the Chelsea defender and England manager Fabio Capello by FA chairman David Bernstein in phone calls on Friday morning.

The FA said in a statement: "Following the decision to adjourn the court case against John Terry to July, the Football Association confirm he will not captain the England team until the allegations against him are resolved."

Capello will be free to pick Terry for England friendlies and Euro 2012.

Terry has been accused of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand, a charge which he denies, during a match at Loftus Road in October last year.

A spokesman for the player declined to comment on Friday morning.

It is the second time the Chelsea captain has been stripped of the England armband having also lost it two years ago after allegations surrounding his private life came to light.

Capello did not take part in the discussions on the captaincy but will choose Terry's successor.

The FA statement added: "The FA board expected the trial to be concluded prior to the European Championship. Further to Wednesday's confirmation that the trial will not take place until after the tournament, the board has discussed the matter in detail and has collectively decided it is in the interests of all parties that John has the responsibilities of captaincy removed at this time.

"This decision has been taken due to the higher profile nature of the England captaincy, on and off the pitch, and the additional demands and requirements expected of the captain leading into and during a tournament.

"The FA board can confirm that he has not been excluded from the squad and that Fabio Capello is free to select him for the Holland fixture on 29 February and the European Championship.

"FA chairman David Bernstein has spoken to both John Terry and Fabio Capello to explain the facts to them. Fabio Capello has not been involved in the FA board discussions which reached this conclusion, but understands that the FA board has authority to make this decision.

"Fabio Capello will take the decision as to who will be made captain moving forward.

"This decision in no way infers any suggestion of guilt in relation to the charge made against John Terry.

"The FA will be not be making any further comment on this matter."

Bernstein contacted all the other members of the 14-strong board on Thursday to seek their views following the announcement that Terry's court case will not take place until July 9 - after Euro 2012.

A majority of board members believed Terry should not be the England figurehead with such a serious charge hanging over him, especially given the possible scenario of England making a complaint about racist abuse from the crowd when playing matches in Ukraine this summer.

It would have been difficult for the FA to take the moral high ground if England's captain is himself facing a criminal charge for racism.

Terry's barrister on Wednesday entered a formal not guilty plea at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Capello had wanted to make the decisions over the captain and had stuck by his belief that Terry should be regarded as innocent until proven guilty, but the FA board decided they had to act.

 

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