John Terry, veteran defender of England's football side, has been stripped of his captaincy by the English Football Association until his trial for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand is complete. The trial is set for July while the Euro Cup begins June 8.
This result will leave Terry able to play, but not captain, England during European Cup play this summer. The FA took the captaincy away from Terry without consulting coach Fabio Capello; they have the right to do that but it is rare for anyone but the coach to name his captain. Initially it was reported that with the trial not beginning until after the Euro Cup, Terry would be allowed to remain captain.
Football Association statement on John Terry
Here's in part what the FA said in their statement: "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 also said their decision "in no way infers any suggestion of guilt in relation to the charge made against John Terry." The decision was wholly theirs, FA chairman David Bernstein said, but, he added, they did speak to Capello and Terry, neither of whom are said to be happy about the decision. Reports of Feb. 3 suggest Terry is considering withdrawing from Euro 2012 altogether and that a toxic atmosphere has developed on the English national side.
John Terry: "I will fight tooth and nail"
All along Terry has denied making a racist remark to Ferdinand, the brother of the national side's vice captain, Rio Ferdinand, during a game last October between Terry's Chelsea and Ferdinand's Queens Park Rangers. In December when criminal charges were leveled against him - he was charged with 'a racially aggravated public order offence' - Terry said he was disappointed with the decision.
"I hope to be given the chance to clear my name as quickly as possible. I have never aimed a racist remark at anyone and count people from all races and creeds among my closest friends," Terry said at the time. "I will fight tooth and nail to prove my innocence. I have campaigned against racism and believe there is no place for it in society."