|Moment of controversy|
The English Football Association has confirmed that Chelsea’s John Terry has been stripped of his English captaincy until further notice.
The controversial London-born hardman is currently facing allegations of racial abuse, dating back to October in an incident at Loftus Road, involving Anton Ferdinand.
The 31-year-old centre-back has pleaded not guilty to charges that have forced the FA to remove him from his duties and not for the first time.
Terry was disciplined in similar fashion two years ago, following allegations of an affair with former teammate Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend, but was surprisingly reinstated just thirteen months later.
|Capello backed Terry|
With the current case adjourned until July 9th, the FA released a statement informing the media that, “it is in the interests of all parties that John has the responsibilities of captaincy removed at this time.”
The FA based the decision on the, “high profile nature of the England captaincy, on and off the pitch”, teamed with the demands of the role prior to and during Euro 2012.
Sports minister Hugh Robertson echoed these sentiments, admitting, “It would have been impossible for John Terry to have continued as captain with this charge over his head.”
|Terry in trouble|
Fabio Capello has publicly stated his view that Terry is innocent until proven guilty and that he should remain available for selection as England captain.
However, the manager was not involved in the board meeting, which unanimously voted for Terry to be stood down, though the FA were keen to reiterate that, “This decision in no way infers any suggestion of guilt in relation to the charge made against John Terry.”
It is understood that Capello respects the authority of the board and will retain the power to select the successor.
FA Chairman David Bernstein is insistent on a zero-tolerance policy on racism and was encouraged by senior members of the committee to take definitive action over the sensitive nature of this case.
Terry maintains the backing of Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas who insists, “John is a person of good mental strength and great personal convictions.”
Owing to a knee injury, Boas is unable to select his captain for tomorrow’s clash with bitter rivals Manchester United, a contest that would have seen him go head-to-head with Anton Ferdinand’s brother, Rio.
|Ferdinand says no|
Primed by some sections of the media as an obvious candidate to take over as England skipper, Ferdinand has openly refused to take on the role, stating, “I just want to concentrate on playing for Manchester United.”
Ferdinand was controversially removed as captain when Terry was initially reinstated, adding to possible tensions, but amidst all the hype, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has advised his player to “rise above” the media frenzy.
Ferguson even suggested that if Terry were to face United, Ferdinand “has got nothing to be ashamed of if he does decide to shake John Terry’s hand.”
Whilst journalists across England jump for joy as yet another scandal in the football world unfolds publicly, genuine fans of the national team will be nothing short of seriously concerned, with Euro 2012 looming.
After a woeful performance at the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, high expectations will fall on England’s shoulders, who are still to add to their solitary success in major tournaments, dating back forty-six years.
|England fail at World Cup '10|
An apparent division within the camp lead to failed performances in South Africa and England fans must be feeling apprehensive that similar excuses may be reused if the national side once again fails to deliver.
As with England’s repetitive disappointment, there appears to be an unpleasant familiarity to the latest chapter of the John Terry saga.
Written by Dom Wallace
Written by Dom Wallace