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Mar, 14, 2011

Terry to reclaim England armband

Fabio Capello has confirmed he is considering stripping Rio Ferdinand of the England captaincy and entrusting John Terry with the responsibility of leading his country once again.

• Terry to resume captaincy?
• Johnson: Capello digs deeper hole
• Rio misses out for England
• Hooper in Under-21 call

Ferdinand is currently sidelined with a calf injury that will prevent him from playing in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales on March 26 and, given Steven Gerrard is also out with a hernia operation, Capello needs to nominate a figurehead.

However, in a surprise move the England coach may well give Terry back the armband on a permanent basis. The Chelsea skipper was stripped of the honour in February 2010 following allegations of an affair with the former partner of his then international team-mate Wayne Bridge.

No firm announcement will be made prior to a press conference 24 hours before the Wales game, but it is reported that Capello will travel to Manchester to inform Ferdinand of his decision.

"I think after one year of punishment that is enough for a mistake," Capello said. "For this reason, I need to make a decision about this problem. It does not need to be captain for one game, it needs to be permanent. Before I announce a decision I want to speak with Terry, with the players, but in the end it will be my decision.

"Rio was captain, but my first captain was John Terry. Rio was a good captain, so was Steven Gerrard, but I selected Terry first until his mistake."

Capello has said that seeing the armband passed between Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry and then Ashley Cole in the friendly win over Denmark last month was unpalatable, particularly with Terry on the pitch. With fitness problems continuing to afflict Ferdinand, Capello may seek a new long-term solution.

"I was upset about the armband being passed around against Denmark," he said. "Who is the captain? Where is the armband? I do not like that. That was not a good moment for John Terry, either.

"I did not expect to talk about the captaincy so much when I took the job, but I understand now it is really important in England. I took my decision after what I saw against Denmark, because it made me understand the value of the captain and the armband in England. I didn't like to see it going around the pitch. Until then, I had always had captains one, two, three, but then it was, 'I'm captain, then I'm captain'. Now I will make it clear. I will decide.

"Rio is captain now and I am not saying he is not a good captain. He was a fantastic captain. He is an important player, too. First of all I want to know whether he will be fit. Then I will talk to him about what I will do with John Terry and whether I will make a new captain. I will explain what happened in Denmark, what I thought about that.

"I will understand if he is not happy, but I am the manager. I have to take decisions. I am not concerned if people think I am indecisive."

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