Terry stripped of England captaincy – again

2012-02-03 12:34

John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy, the English FA said today.

The 31-year-old Chelsea centre back is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty on Wednesday to a charge of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match at Loftus Road in October.

The trial date has been set for July 9 – eight days after the end of the Euro 2012 championship.

“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,” the FA said in a statement on its website (www.thefa.com).

“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 confirmed he had not been excluded from the squad and that manager Fabio Capello can select him for the friendly against the Netherlands at Wembley on February 29 and for the European Championship itself.

FA chairperson David Bernstein spoke to both Terry and Capello to explain the facts to them, the FA said.

“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,” the statement continued.

“This decision in no way infers any suggestion of guilt in relation to the charge made against John Terry,” the FA added.

It is the second time that Terry has been stripped of the captaincy of the national team in two years. He has played for England 67 times, 34 of them as captain and scored six goals.

He was first relieved of the armband by England manager Capello in February 2010 following allegations of an extra-marital affair, and reinstated as captain last year.

The Italian 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 he wishes.

After the match against the Dutch at the end of this month, England face Norway and Belgium in other warm-up matches before the Euros begin in June in which they face France, Sweden and Ukraine in their opening group phase matches.

London bookmakers William Hill installed Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard as the 8-13 favourite to take over as captain with Terry’s Chelsea team mate Frank Lampard rated at 5-1 and Anton’s brother Rio, Terry’s long-term partner in the centre of the England defence, at 7-1.

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