Fabio Capello has appointed Rio Ferdinand as England's captain for Wednesday's friendly with France in Paris, dashing John Terry's hopes of an immediate return to the role following his recovery from injury.
In the absence of the injured Terry, Capello made Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard captain for his first match in charge of England, last month's 2-1 win over Switzerland.
But the Italian has said he will not name a long-term captain until just before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, which begins with an away fixture in Andorra in September.
A brief statement on the Football Association's website said Capello had confirmed that the decision to appoint Ferdinand for the France match continues a policy of rotating the captaincy during the friendlies to be played between now and September.
He had however been widely expected to hand the armband back to Terry, who was the regular captain under his predessor as head coach, Steve McClaren, and his decision to opt for Ferdinand instead will inevitably be interpreted as a significant snub for the Chelsea skipper.
The move could also be seen as a sign that Terry will not be regarded as an automatic choice in central defence under the new regime, particularly if Tottenham's Jonathan Woodgate, who played under Capello at Real Madrid, can remain free of injury.
For Ferdinand, the promotion to the captaincy represents a significant vote of confidence in the maturity of a player who missed the finals of UEFA EURO 2004 because he was serving an eight-month ban for missing a drugs test at Manchester United's training ground.
Capello was due to explain the reasons for his decision at a press conference in Paris later on Tuesday.