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FA poised to decide Terry's future
Published : 03 Feb 2012 09:16:47
John Terry's future as England captain was in the balance on Friday as Football Association chiefs were poised to decide whether he should be stripped of the armband over his racism court case.
Widespread media reports said the FA chairman David Bernstein had contacted all members of the governing body's 12-strong board to seek their opinion on whether Terry should keep the captaincy.
The BBC reported early Friday that the FA was set to remove Terry as captain but allow the player to continue to be available for selection.
The FA has faced mounting calls for Terry to be axed after his trial on charges of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand was adjourned until after the Euro 2012 championships.
Terry, who was also stripped of the captaincy in 2010 because of allegations about his private life, has strongly denied the charges against him and has vowed to clear his name.
The FA had previously delayed taking any action against Terry out of concerns that it may prejudice his court case, insisting the Chelsea defender was "innocent until proven guilty."
However since then, Terry has been formally charged with a criminal offence, and a growing body of opinion has emerged that his position as captain of England is no longer tenable.
Damian Collins MP, a member of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, has voiced his opinion on Twitter.
"John Terry should stand aside as captain until the case is resolved, and any doubt either way removed," he said.
Piara Powar, the executive director of European football's anti-discrimination body - Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) also said Terry should be replaced.
"Innocent until proven guilty," he Tweeted. "But should John Terry remain as England capt through the Euros? I can't see how he can."
Reading striker and radio pundit Jason Roberts Tweeted: "Believe me...the Dressing room at the Euros will be TOXIC unless the correct decision is made..!!!
"Innocent until proven Guilty...I have also noted that Woodgate and Bowyer where suspended from England Duty pending there Assault Charges???"
Media commentators meanwhile have broadly called for Terry's replacement, arguing that the mere fact of the charges make him an inappropriate figurehead for English football given its record in campaigning against racism.
The Times chief sports writer Simon Barnes said Friday the FA faced an "invidious choice."
"Should we seem to be rejecting the principle of innocent until proven guilty, or should we seem to be condoning racism?" Barnes wrote.
"Racism is emphatically a public issue, and to captain your country is a public role. Moreover, captaining England is not a fundamental human right.
"To choose, as captain of your country, a man who may have been guilty of racist behaviour is inappropriate, even if he denies it. So on those grounds alone it's good night JT."