Capello's future in doubt

2012-02-06 14:24
Fabio Capello (AFP)

London - England manager Fabio Capello was set for talks about his own future with the Football Association on Monday after publicly condemning their decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.

Terry, 31, was relieved of his duties on Thursday due to an ongoing court case in which he is accused of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers centre-back Anton Ferdinand during a match last year.

However, the Chelsea centre-back remains available for England selection.

But a former FA insider said Capello, by trying to prevent Terry retiring from international football before this year's European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine, had put his own job in jeopardy.

David Davies, who was the FA's international director, told the BBC that Capello, who earns a reported 6 million-a-year as England manager, may have breached his contract with his comments.

"It is being taken very seriously by the FA because it may be that Fabio Capello has breached his contract," said Davies.

"You have to ask what his motive is. You have to suspect he wants to prevent John Terry retiring as a player before Euro 2012 but there are wider issues.

"You could have what some of the media are calling a morality circus while England are trying to win the second major tournament in football.

"A contract may have been breached, there is strong leadership now at the FA from (chairman) David Bernstein. Last week he wasn't slow to take things forward and he may not be slow to do so now."

Capello was angered the FA had stripped Terry of the captaincy before his court case had been concluded and made his feelings clear on a football programme on Italian Rai public television on Sunday.

"I don't agree with the decision, I spoke with the chairman (Bernstein) telling him that in my opinion Terry cannot be punished until the court's decided -- that's the civil justice, not the sporting one -- that Terry has done that which he is accused of," Capello said.

"For that I felt it was right that Terry should keep the captain's armband.

"However, the fact that the Board has taken this decision is their right when it comes to England."

Terry's court case is not due to take place until July 9, after the European Championship finals, and the FA, who said they had not consulted Capello, felt it would be inappropriate to keep him as captain with the allegations hanging over his head.

"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," an FA statement said Thursday.

Many members of the British media said Capello's comments would inflame the controversy surrounding Terry and, by extension, the England squad.

"By pledging his support for Terry he has ensured any aspiration the FA had of bundling the controversy out of the spotlight until after the finals has been lost," wrote Dominic Fifield in the Guardian.

Meanwhile Matt Dickinson of the Times said there was a question over whether Terry should go to Euro 2012 just as a player.

"I think that (stripping him of the captaincy) was the right and easy part of the decision," Dickinson said. "But if you follow the FA's logic on this that John Terry has put them and him in a compromising position at the moment then you have to question whether he should be going to the tournament at all."

The case has attracted huge media attention in England, due in no small part to the fact that the England dressing-room is a multi-racial environment and is likely to include Ferdinand's brother Rio.

This is not the first time Terry has been stripped of the captaincy.

Two years ago, following allegations about an affair with a team-mate's ex-girlfriend surfaced in the notorious English tabloid press, Terry was removed as captain with Rio Ferdinand installed in his place.

However, due to Ferdinand's injury problems making him often unavailable for England duty and a messy episode in a friendly against Denmark a year ago in which the captain's armband was handed around like a pass-the-parcel package, Capello decided to reinstate Terry.

Having been snubbed then, Ferdinand has already publicly claimed he is no longer interested in the role.

Terry has always strongly protested his innocence and has been backed by his club manager Andre Villas-Boas, who has kept him as Chelsea captain.

"It is an unfortunate event and an event which doesn't dignify British football," Villas-Boas said.

Read more on:    fabio capello  |  john terry

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