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Feb 3, 2012

Terry stripped of England captaincy

John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy just 11 months after being reinstated into the role.

• Gerrard to head England captains' club
• Roberts fires Euros warning over Terry
• Terry trial date angers Hughes

Terry was contacted by Football Association chief David Berstein at 10am on Friday morning and informed of the FA board's decision. There has been no indication about his availability for selection for England duty.

The Chelsea captain is accused of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand but will not stand trial until July, after this summer's European Championship.

Although he was backed by coach Fabio Capello and the FA in the initial stages of the case, the news that a trial will not take place for another five months seems to have left the FA with no other option.

An FA statement said:" 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 Board expected the trial to be concluded prior to the European Championship. Further to Wednesday's confirmation that the trial will not take place until after the tournament, the board has discussed the matter in detail and has collectively decided it is in the interests of all parties that John has the responsibilities of captaincy removed at this time.

"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 and that Fabio Capello is free to select him for the Holland fixture on 29 February and the European Championship.

"FA Chairman David Bernstein has spoken to both John Terry and Fabio Capello to explain the facts to them. Fabio Capello has not been involved in The FA Board discussions which reached this conclusion, but understands that the FA board has authority to make this decision. Fabio Capello will take the decision as to who will be made captain moving forward.

"This decision in no way infers any suggestion of guilt in relation to the charge made against John Terry. The FA will be not be making any further comment on this matter."

Bernstein contacted the 13 other members of the FA board to seek their views on the situation, with the consensus being that for sporting reasons Terry is no longer in a position to captain his country.

PFA statement

The PFA reacted to the decision with a statement on Friday night, accepting the ruling and urging for focus to footballing matters.

"We have seen the decision of the FA Board this morning to remove the captaincy of the England team from John Terry until after the resolution of the allegations against him,'' said the statement.

"We respect the reasons why the FA has taken this decision bearing in mind all of the factors involved. It is hoped that this serves to remove the pressure from this situation which should assist all parties involved in this matter and avoids the issue of the captaincy becoming an increasing distraction as we head towards such an important tournament.

"It is hoped that now that the decision has been taken, the focus of attention can return to those preparations and to the football. Finally, we note the comment by the FA that no inference as to the underlying allegations should be drawn from this decision to remove the captaincy.

"It is fair to all concerned that these allegations should be left to be deal with in the normal court process and we hope that this is respected by everyone.''

Villas-Boas backs Terry

Terry's position as Chelsea captain remains unaffected, and his club manager Andre Villas-Boas made it clear on Friday he is unhappy with the way the FA handled with the Englan captaincy situation.

"I don't agree with it. The statement from the FA was pretty clear on what was their decision-making," Villas-Boas said. "John will continue to be our captain. It [the trial] doesn't compromise on my decision-making. It obviously compromises on the FA's decision-making."

Who next for the armband?

Terry, originally made captain in 2006, was stripped of the captaincy two years ago after allegations of an affair with team-mate Wayne Bridge's girlfriend, but was reinstated 13 months later.

Steven Gerrard, if fit, seems certain to take the armband, while former Three Lions captain Rio Ferdinand quickly took to Twitter to rule himself out of the running.

"I don't want to be england captain after the last episode,just want to concentrate on playin for utd & if I make the squad then as ever I'll be delighted," Ferdinand said.

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