England fans call for captain Gerrard


This week's confirmation that John Terry's trial for alleged racist abuse will take place after the climax of this summer's European Championships, on July 9, leaves the Football Association with a tough decision to make over whether the Chelsea defender will be free to participate for England.

Had the trial been, as expected, before the championships, The FA will have been fully entitled to follow the lead of the Crown Prosecution Service and act appropriately. However, following the delay of the trial, they'll be forced into making a decision on their own.

Whether manager Fabio Capello - who will leave his position as Three Lions boss after this summer's finals in Poland and Ukraine - has any say on a possible ban remains uncertain.

The Italian tactician reinstated Terry as skipper mid-way through England's Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, 12 months after stripping him of the captaincy following allegations surrounding his off-the-field behaviour.

Now there are calls for him to be relinquished of the armband, and his position of authority for a second time ahead of the tournament - surely a sensible step going into a major finals.

But the question that remains is who should step up and replace the current England skipper?

Is Rio Ferdinand in line for a recall? Can Steven Gerrard answer the cry for help? Is Terry's Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard the right man for the job - will he even make the plane this summer? Will Wayne Rooney's bit-part role prevent him from being handed the armband?

In a recently conducted online poll, GiveMeFootball can exclusively reveal that fans have called for Terry to be stripped of the England captaincy, and backed Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard to take over at Euro 2012.

Gerrard scooped over 56 per cent of the 40,000 votes cast, with Terry's club teammate Lampard in second place with 18 per cent. Terry himself received 12 per cent backing, while Ferdinand came in with just eight per cent of the votes.

Rooney came bottom of the pile with four per cent, while the remaining two per cent of voters called for someone else to be given the responsibility of leading out their country at this summer's tournament.

Terry could be relinquished from his role as soon as today, as the Football Association moves to stem the fallout from racism charges levelled against the Chelsea defender.

The FA board is considering standing Terry down as captain, but allowing him to be selected for the national team as a compromise solution to an issue that threatens to overshadow England's Euro 2012 preparations.

The move comes after FA chairman David Bernstein spent yesterday canvassing opinion among board members following the adjournment until after the European Championships of Terry's trial for the alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand.

Bernstein is understood to have found a growing consensus that Terry's position as captain is untenable given the charges and the wider context of a season disturbed by racism controversies.

There have been calls for swift action to be taken, with The FA's position on Terry due to be tested by a friendly against Holland scheduled before the end of the month, and there is a mood at Wembley to act before the weekend.

News Now - Sport News