FA strips Terry of England captaincy
LONDON - Reuters
Chelsea’s resilient defender John Terry is stripped off England captaincy for the second time in two years. AP photoJohn Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy, the English FA said on Feb. 3.
The 31-year-old Chelsea center back is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty on Feb. 1 to a charge of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match at Loftus Road in October.
The trial date has been set for July 9 - eight days after the end of the Euro 2012 championship.
“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 said in a statement on its website (www.thefa.com).
The FA confirmed he had not been excluded from the squad and that manager Fabio Capello can select him for the friendly against the Netherlands at Wembley on Feb. 29 and for the European Championship itself.
It is the second time that Terry has been stripped of the captaincy of the national team in two years. He was first relieved of the armband by England manager Capello in February 2010 following allegations of an extra-marital affair, and re-instated as captain last year.
London bookmakers William Hill installed Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard as the 8-13 favorite to take over as captain with Terry’s Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard rated at 5-1 and Anton’s brother Rio at 7-1.
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, however, dismissed the rumors, saying he was focused only on securing a place in Fabio Capello’s squad.
Ferdinand had previously accepted the armband when Terry was sacked as skipper 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,” Ferdinand, Terry’s long-time partner in England defense, announced on Twitter.