The FA was right to strip John Terry of the England captaincy, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said today as he accused Luis Suarez of "unsporting behaviour" by failing to shake Patrice Evra's hand.
Mr Hunt said the fracas between the two footballers at Old Trafford yesterday was "incredibly depressing", as he backed Prime Minister David Cameron's decision to hold a summit in Downing Street to discuss racism in football.
There had been "huge strides" in tackling the problem in recent years, he said, but recent events had shown the footballing authorities and Government could not be complacent.
And he backed the FA's decision to remove the captain's armband from John Terry.
Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Hunt said: "It's a decision for the FA but I did support them when they made that decision because I think sometimes the principle is important than any one person.
"I think it is incredibly important for the future of the game that the FA deal decisively and clearly with these issues as they did with Suarez and I absolutely supported them.
"But John Terry is innocent until proven guilty and we must wait and see what the courts decide."
Asked for his reaction to yesterday's row between Evra and Suarez, the Culture Secretary praised the match referee Phil Dowd.
"I thought the referee handled it brilliantly. It was an incredibly tense and difficult situation and Phil Dowd did a fantastic job. This is the kind of thing that can so easily escalate and that is why the Prime Minister has decided he is going to take a real interest and have this meeting in Downing Street."
Mr Hunt said he would like Fabio Capello's replacement as England manager to be English but he must be the "best man for the job".
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