LONDON: John Terry was stripped of the England captaincy for the second time in two years after mounting concern that his ongoing racism court case had made his position untenable.
The English Football Association (FA) confirmed that chairman David Bernstein had contacted Terry to inform him of the body’s decision until the racism allegations were ‘resolved’. Bernstein canvassed opinion among members of the FA board on Thursday to discuss the best course of action for Terry, who is accused of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a match last year.
Terry, 31, strongly denies the charges and has vowed to clear his name. However, the decision this week to delay his court case until July 9 left FA chiefs with the prospect of the saga overshadowing England’s Euro 2012 campaign.
“The FA confirms he will not captain the England team until the allegations are resolved,” read the FA statement. “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.”
However, the FA stressed Terry could still represent England in Poland and the Ukraine this summer.
“The FA can confirm that he has not been excluded from the squad and that [manager] Fabio Capello is free to select him for the Holland fixture on 29 February and the European Championship.”
Terry did not immediately make any comment but was reportedly mulling retirement from international football, ‘angry and disillusioned’ over his treatment, according to The Daily Mirror.
Rio rejects armband
Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand said he had no interest in seeking the captaincy.
Rio had previously accepted the armband when Terry was sacked two years ago, but was unhappy at the manner in which he lost the captaincy last year.
“I don’t want to be England captain after the last episode,” announced Rio on Twitter. “I just want to concentrate on playing for United and if I make the squad then I’ll be delighted.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2012.