The Football Association have taken the England captaincy away from John Terry due to his racism court trial and revealed the decision had been taken without Fabio Capello’s involvement.
The England manager has always insisted he should have control of team matters including the captaincy but the FA board, led by chairman David Bernstein, decided they had to step in after confirmation that the trial will not take place until after Euro 2012.
Capello was not involved in the discussions but will be free to pick Terry for England friendlies and Euro 2012 and to choose the replacement captain – likely to be Steven Gerrard.
There have been reports that Terry, 31, is bitter at the decision and is considering retiring from international football – and his club manager Andres Villas-Boas criticised the FA’s action.
Terry has been accused of racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand, a charge which he denies, and will stand trial on July 9. A spokesman for the player declined to comment yesterday.
Capello himself had stuck by his belief that Terry should be regarded as innocent until proven guilty and keep the armband.
It is the second time he has been stripped of the England armband having also lost it two years ago after allegations surrounding his private life.
Bernstein had spoken to all members of the 14-strong board yesterday about the issue and explained the decision to Terry and Capello over the phone yesterday morning.
The FA said in a statement: “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 and the Euro 2012.”
He added: “This decision in no way infers any suggestion of guilt in relation to the charge made against John Terry.”
Capello facing dilemma over Terry’s replacement: Page 29.