News24

'Terry should still be captain'

2012-02-06 07:19

Rome - Four months before he is due to coach England at the European Championship, Fabio Capello publicly criticised his employers on Sunday for going against his wishes and removing John Terry as captain.

Terry was stripped of the armband by the English Football Association on Friday, two days after his trial for racially abusing an opponent was scheduled to be held after the European Championship.

Capello told Italy's state broadcaster RAI that he "absolutely" did not agree with the decision to dump Terry before the Chelsea defender had his day in court.

FA chairman David Bernstein fired Terry because of the difficulty in holding the high-profile captaincy role at Euro 2012 - which runs from June 8 to July 1 - when the player's fate on criminal charges won't be known until after his trial starts on July 9.

Bernstein said on Friday that Capello "understands that the FA Board has authority to make this decision," but the Italian has now revealed his annoyance at the move.

"I spoke with the chairman and I told him that I don't think someone can be punished until it becomes official," Capello told RAI via video from London. "The court will decide. It's going to be civil justice, not sports justice, to decide if John Terry committed that crime that he is accused of. And I thought it fair that John Terry keeps the captain's armband."

It is the second time Terry has lost the captaincy of England.

Capello was part of the decision-making process when Terry was dumped ahead of the 2010 World Cup following allegations he had an affair with a former girlfriend of England team-mate Wayne Bridge.

Terry, who has played 72 times for England since his debut in 2003, was reinstated last March after Capello said "one year's punishment is enough."

Six months later, police investigated allegations that Terry allegedly shouted racial abuse at Anton Ferdinand during Chelsea's 1-0 loss at Queens Park Rangers. Prosecutors decided to charge him in December with a racially aggravated public order offense.

Terry was allowed to lead England in a friendly against Sweden in November at Wembley Stadium, but the prospect of the racism allegations hanging over the captain throughout Euro 2012 appears to have forced the FA's hand.

The 65-year-old Capello is due to leave as England coach after Euro 2012, a job he has held since 2008, but his plans for the tournament have now been disrupted. England opens against France on June 11.

Before the 2010 World Cup, the former Real Madrid, AC Milan, Juventus and Roma coach was briefly at odds with the FA over a commercial online venture in which he was supposed to rate players - including his own.

The "Capello Index" was abandoned after concerns it could unsettle the squad. England was eventually knocked out in the last 16.

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Comments
  • russel.lunt - 2012-02-06 08:06

    Capello loves Terry - simple as. If he is the epitome of English football players, then it's hardly surprising they're so poor. Then again, it's not like the others in the squad are any better off the field - Rooney, even Gerrard has had his moments. Sack them all and start with a new-look England for the future. If you aren't going to do that, then at least make Gerrard captain because he's the only player who can handle the big matches as a leader. England may have been poor at the World Cup - that was mostly down to Terry and Capello - but Gerrard was still their best player despite being captain and playing a different position each game.

      Bob - 2012-02-06 11:08

      Russel, it's not a game of netball, man up some.

  • Bonjo - 2012-02-06 08:38

    Capello wanted Terry sacked over his alleged affair with Wayne Bridge's girlfriend, but he doesn't want Terry sacked over an alleged racial abuse on a fellow Brit? Pathetic!

      russel.lunt - 2012-02-06 08:42

      ...in an environment where they have a multi-racial squad, including the brother of the man allegedly abused. You couldn't make this up.

  • keith.staniford - 2012-02-08 21:49

    Oh no? think again, have you ever played professional football Russel, I think not. Take the crowd out of a stadium and you would be surprised at the level and content of the conversation on the field. Oh and before you ask, yes I have!!

  • keith.staniford - 2012-02-08 21:53

    @ Russel. England may not be as good as they should be, but they are a world apart from the pathetic band of w.....s you have as a National team!

  • Robert - 2012-02-09 08:44

    Terry should have been suspended immediately he was charged untill the conclusion of the court case. I do not believe that it is fair on the rest of the England team to be expected to continue with a captain that has a court case hanging over his head. The possibility that there would be comments by other teams whilst playing England cannot be ruled out. Tempers could fly and a match turn into a brawl! Suspention till proven innocent.

  • Robert - 2012-02-09 08:50

    Terry should have been suspended immediately the charge was made against him. This would have given every one time to clear the air and make full enquiry into the allegations. But now till the court case is over he should be on suspension. What is the possibility of other teams hackling him on the field and causing a bigger upset and more unpleasantness. This is what would happen in the work place so why not in sport? Terry is not the only player capable of leading England.

  • Thomas - 2012-02-09 16:38

    I dont believe Capello is much of a loss, what has he achieved as England coach? I believe Harry Rednapp would be a very capable replacement

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