Capello not opposed to Bernabeu visit

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Fabio Capello has distanced himself from the Football Association's demand that England's proposed friendly against Spain should be played away from Madrid.

FA officials have advised their Spanish counterparts there is no way they could countenance a game at the Bernabeu, which would be played four years after five players were racially abused in the stadium during a previously friendly between the national teams.

"Why would I not want to play in the Bernabeu? It's my home. Everybody knows that I love Spain, I have a house in Marbella and I love Madrid, a marvellous city where I have spent two great years." Former Real Madrid coach Capello told Marca.

"It's a mistake by the director of communications of the English federation. I don't know how my name has appeared in all this,

"I don't decide where England play, it's a decision of the English federation which they will have to agree with the Spanish.

"For me I don't mind where we play, and of course if it is the Bernabeu, then all the better."

Capello's irritation is understandable but equally the FA and their staff need to make their own opinions perfectly clear and there seems no prospect of such a game taking place in Madrid.

Given the publicity surrounding the venue, it will now be interesting to see whether the Spanish football federation take a similarly hardline stance after effectively being told their own game cannot be held in the capital city.

Capello's comments emerged on the same day UEFA forced Atletico Madrid to play their next two Champions League games 300 kilometres from the Spanish capital due to the racist abuse Marseille received there on their recent visit.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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