|Awkward conversations in training: Terry, right, will face trial over allegations he racially abused Anton Ferdinand, the brother of fellow England defender Rio Ferdinand, left [GETTY]|
John Terry was removed as England captain on Friday as he awaits trial for racial abuse, but the Chelsea defender will remain eligible to play for the national team at the European Championship.
The English Football Association said Terry would be stripped of the captaincy “until the allegations against him are resolved.”
“(The board) collectively decided it is in the interests of all parties that John has the responsibilities of captaincy removed at this time,” the FA said.
“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.”
England coach Fabio Capello was not consulted about the decision.
Capello and the FA had previously said Terry could continue as captain because he was “innocent until proven guilty” of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match in October.
But Capello and the FA had expected Terry’s trial would take place before the European Championship in Ukraine and Poland.
A judge on Wednesday, however, delayed the trial until July 9, a week after the Euro 2012 final, after Chelsea said it would be difficult for players to testify during the Premier League season.
“This decision (to sack Terry) in no way infers any suggestion of guilt in relation to the charge made against John Terry,” the FA said.
Terry was stripped of the captaincy almost two years to the day after he lost the armband for the first time ahead of the 2010 World Cup over allegations he had an affair with the former girlfriend of England teammate Wayne Bridge.
Anton Ferdinand’s brother, Rio, was given the captaincy then, but Terry was reinstated last March, with Capello saying that “one year’s punishment is enough.”
Terry’s position was thrown into doubt just six months later when he allegedly shouted abuse at Anton Ferdinand during Chelsea’s 1-0 loss at QPR.
The FA’s own investigation was put on hold when the police probe began.
At the same time, the FA took a strong stance in November when FIFA President Sepp Blatter downplayed the problem of racism in football.
“I – with others in prominent positions in the game – have to make sure we live up to the values of which we speak,” Bernstein said at the time.
“The FA remains strongly committed to diversity, equal opportunities for all and anti-discrimination.”
This season has been marred by racism allegations, with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez completing an eight-match ban for repeatedly racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a match in October.