England pair ignored union's attempts at conciliation claims Taylor

Players' chief Gordon Taylor has revealed how efforts to negotiate peace between John Terry and Wayne Bridge failed when neither man responded to an offer of mediation.

Bridge yesterday announced his decision to rule himself out of England contention and give up his World Cup chance.

Chief executive Taylor stressed the Professional Footballers' Association had done all they could to heal the rift between the former Chelsea team-mates, which developed following allegations that ex-England captain Terry had an affair with Bridge's former girlfriend and mother of his child.

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Taylor said: "The PFA offered to help and contacted both parties with a view to acting as mediators, but neither came back to us. I am surprised and saddened that this matter could not be resolved."

Taylor said of Bridge opting to make himself unavailable for England: "You have to respect Wayne's decision, and his wishes, but it is sad that it has come to this.

"I would have hoped that things could have been patched up for the sake of the professional careers of both Wayne and John Terry, as well as the England team."

Taylor believed that with the PFA's help the pair may have been able to set aside their differences – at least temporarily – to contribute to England's bid for glory in South Africa this summer.

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He said: "I was just hoping that for the sake of their careers that things could be, if not patched up, put aside when they're on the field of play, particularly as they both deserve to be in the England squad."

Bridge did not declare an intention to retire from international football, and Taylor would love to see the 29-year-old in an England shirt in future.

He said: "Clearly on this occasion there have been difficulties and Wayne has found it hard to deal with at the moment, and has come to this decision. I hope there may be time in the future where he's able to reconsider it."

He added: "I don't like to see bad blood between any of our members but that would be naive to think that wouldn't happen.

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"Part of the job is getting on the field and focusing on the job and doing that job irrespective of whether you get on with your team-mates or not."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, while insisting the alleged affair and the aftermath are a private matter, believes opting out of the England squad is not Bridge's decision to make.

"I don't want to get involved in the story, it is completely private," he said. "The only thing I can say is legally, a player is not entitled to refuse the national team.

"That means he is in a position where legally he could be punished or suspended by the federation if he refuses to be selected.

"I don't recommend that at all, I'm just saying legally a player cannot decide on his own to turn down the national team."