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Before trial,FA strips Terry of captaincy

The English Football Association said the Chelsea defender would be stripped of the captaincy “'until the allegations against him are resolved.’’

Written by Associated Press | London | Published: February 4, 2012 1:06:41 am

John Terry was removed as England captain Friday as he awaits trial for racial abuse,but the Chelsea defender will remain eligible to play for the national team at the European Championship. The English Football Association said the Chelsea defender would be stripped of the captaincy “’until the allegations against him are resolved.’’

Terry faces trial in July on charges of racially abusing Queens Park defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match in October.

“(The board) collectively decided it is in the interests of all parties that John has the responsibilities of captaincy removed at this time,’’ the FA said. “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. The FA board can confirm that he has not been excluded from the squad.’’

England coach Fabio Capello was not consulted about the decision,unlike in 2010 when Terry lost the captaincy ahead of the World Cup over allegations he had an affair with the former girlfriend of England teammate Wayne Bridge.

Although Terry has lost the England captaincy,Chelsea said he will continue to captain the Premier League club. “It was the FA’s decision,’’ Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas said. “I don’t agree with it. John will continue as Chelsea captain.’’ Terry will miss Sunday’s match against Manchester United.

The British government backed the decision. “It would have been impossible for John Terry to have continued as captain with this charge over his head,” sports minister Hugh Robertson said.

Terry was stripped of the captaincy for the first time almost two years ago. Anton Ferdinand’s brother,Rio,was given the captaincy then,but Terry was reinstated last March,with Capello saying that “one year’s punishment is enough.’’

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