John Terry gagged by FA over allegations of racism
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
England manager Fabio Capello (R) and captain John Terry attend a team training session in London Colney. REUTERS photo
John Terry was gagged by the Football Association yesterday to prevent the England captain answering any questions about allegations he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
Chelsea defender Terry is alleged to have abused Ferdinand in a recent Premier League match and both the English FA and London’s Metropolitan Police are investigating the incident.
Terry, who has denied the claims, was asked to speak about the matter on Monday at a press conference ahead of a friendly against Sweden, but the questions were blocked by a member of the FA’s media team.
Terry would only speak about his current mood, saying: “I’m in a great state of mind and focused on training. From my point of view, nothing’s changed at all.”
England skipper Terry was rested from last weekend’s 1-0 friendly win over Spain, although manager Fabio Capello insisted this had nothing to do with the racism allegations.
Terry, due to play against Sweden at Wembley on Tuesday, said: “I think the players have showed we’re united no matter what and put in a very good performance against Spain.”
Midfielder Frank Lampard, a Chelsea team-mate of Terry, captained England on Saturday and with the team shutting out the world champions the central defender said it was always possible he could be dropped.
“I don’t feel undroppable - I’ve never thought that with England or Chelsea,” added Terry.
“If my form’s not good enough the manager (Capello) is big enough to drop anyone, as we’ve seen.
“Every game we all feel we are playing for our places,” the 30-year-old added.
“I’m in a great state of mind and focused on training. From my point of view, nothing’s changed at all.”
Meanwhile, Capello insisted he had no qualms about Terry’s mood ahead of the Sweden match.
“He’s here. He will be with us. He will be the captain,” Capello said.
The Italian added he planned to make wholesale changes to his side for the Sweden match.
“There will be eight new players,” he explained.
“They are two different games but the experience gained for these players is really important, in order to improve for the next match against Holland or for the Euros.”
Asked about young Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge’s possible England debut, Capello added: “One hundred percent, he will start on the bench.
“All of the young players who come from the Under-21s have been monitored for a long time. I spoke to Stuart (Pearce, England Under-21 coach) and the players’ coaches and all of these people told me they are really, really good.
“Personally I checked on them too and have been really happy with their performances and their personalities and the confidence they play with. It’s difficult to find such players with the confidence they showed against Spain.”