England manager Fabio Capello has broken ranks with his bosses at the FA over their decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy. The BBC reports Capello thinks it was wrong to punish Terry before his guilt or innocence (over charges of racial abuse) has been established in a court of law.
“I thought it was right that Terry should keep the captain’s armband,” the BBC reports Capello told RAI. “I have spoken to the [FA] chairman and I have said that in my opinion one cannot be punished until it is official and the court — a non-sport court, a civil court — had made a decision to decide if John Terry has done what he is accused of.”
On Friday, the FA board decided Terry should no longer serve as captain on England’s national team. The position is considered one of the highest honors in the English game. Terry has been removed as captain despite the fact that his case will not go to trial until early July.
Capello, England’s manager since 2007, has twice given Terry the England captaincy. He first lost the armband in 2010, after an alleged affair with a teammate’s girlfriend went public. Capello reinstalled him to the position in March of 2011, but the FA decided he will not lead his country at this summer’s European Championships.
The Chelsea captain is being prosecuted in court for a racially aggrevated public order offense. He allegedly aimed a racial slur at Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand when the two teams met on Oct. 23.
“Hate speech”, as it is often called, is a crime in the U.K., and Terry has denied the charge. But when video emerged that appears to show him making the slur, the police stepped in and referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS decided to prosecute Terry, but his case has been postponed to early July — after the conclusion of Euro 2012.