John Terry Stripped Of England Captaincy By Football Association
John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy by the Football Association.
It is the second time in his career that the defender has lost the international armband for off-pitch reasons.
Terry was called on Friday morning by FA chairman David Bernstein, who told the Chelsea player of the decision. The defender has so far made no comment.
The move throws into doubt Terry's eligibility or desire to play for England at the European Championships this summer, and could ignite tension between the governing body and England manager Fabio Capello, who insisted that he wanted Terry to remain as captain.
In a statement, the FA said Terry had "not been excluded from the squad".
Terry is due to stand trial in July on charges of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League game last October. The player has maintained his innocence throughout, vowing to fight "tooth and nail" to clear his name.
Terry was originally due to stand trial this month, however the FA's hand appears to have been forced when it was rescheduled to July, meaning the player could go into the European Championships with a serious charge hanging over him.
The possibility of Terry leading out the England team at the Euros prompted criticism from anti-racism campaigners, with Piara Powar, the executive director of Football Against Racism in Europe, recently pushing for the FA to "do the right thing".
Capello, who is currently out of the country, is not expected to make immediate comment on the situation. The England manager has stuck by his captain in recent months, maintaining Terry was "innocent until proven guilty".
This morning, bookmaker William Hill made Steven Gerrard the favourite to lead England out for the first game of the Euros.
FA statement on John Terry:
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 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.