Ferguson backs Capello over John Terry

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Football News

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Fabio Capello in the wake of the Italian's criticism of The Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.

After learning Terry's trial for allegedly racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand was delayed until July 9, The FA opted to strip the Chelsea player of the armband.

The decision came under fire from Capello, whose comments have sparked talk over his future as the manager of the national team.

"I thought it was right that Terry should keep the captain's armband," said the former AC Milan chief.

"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."

But Ferguson, in defence of Capello, said: "I think what will happen in the next few days is there will have to be a coming together of the FA hierarchy and Fabio Capello because he's the team manager, he has the importance of that position.

"Without question the most important person at a football club is the manager."

Former FA executive director David Davies has since suggested that Capello might be in breach of his contract following the public criticism of his employers.

"My understanding - and I've talked to one or two very senior people at the FA in the last 24 hours - is that this matter with Capello is regarded very seriously," he said. "He may well have breached his contract.

"There is collective responsibility at the FA and there is a view that publicly this sort of matter shouldn't be aired in this sort of way. It will be for others to know the fine print of Capello's contract and I suspect people will look at it.

"There is strong leadership now at the FA from David Bernstein. Last week, he wasn't slow to take things forward and he may not be slow to do so now."

The 65-year-old has stripped Terry of the armband once before, following allegations of an alleged affair with the ex-partner of left-back Wayne Bridge.

After handing the responsibility to Red Devils defender Rio Ferdinand, brother of Anton, Capello opted to give Terry back the captaincy 13 months later.

The Italian is expected to leave his role as manager after this summer's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, bringing an end to a tempestuous five-year tenure in charge of The Three Lions.

England face Holland at the end of February in the first of three scheduled friendlies prior to the summer finals, with subsequent matches against Norway and Belgium coming before their Euro 2012 opener against France.

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