John Terry has been sacked as England captain. The 29-year-old was informed of the decision by Fabio Capello during a brief meeting at Wembley this afternoon. The decision comes after allegations surrounding the Chelsea skipper's private life came to light.
"After much thought I have made the decision that it will be best for me to take the captaincy away from John Terry," said the Italian in a statement.
Capello made it clear that while Terry's conduct on the field had been exactly what he wanted when he made his decision to appoint the central defender as skipper in August 2008, recent headlines about his personal life left him with little choice other than to remove the honour from the Barking-born player. It is alleged that Terry had an affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the ex-girlfriend of England team-mate Wayne Bridge, also a former club-mate of Terry's at Chelsea.
"As a captain with the team, John Terry has displayed extremely positive behaviour," added Capello. "However, I have to take into account other considerations and what is best for all of the England squad. What is best for all of the England team has inspired my choice and John Terry was notified first."
Although Capello has not clarified whether he still intends to select Terry, it seems he has already confirmed Rio Ferdinand will replace the Chelsea man, with Steven Gerrard acting as his deputy.
"When I chose John Terry as captain, I also selected a vice-captain and also named a third choice," said Capello. "There is no reason to change this decision. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the FA, particularly Lord David Triesman and Ian Watmore for allowing me to make this decision in my own time and in the best interest of the team."
Capello has only been in the job for just over two years but it is a measure of his standing within the English game that both FA chairman Lord Triesman and chief executive Watmore were happy to let him make the judgement.
Terry kept his own comments brief. However, he had little option other than to accept Capello's decision and gave a broad hint that he would continue to be involved with the national team.
"I fully respect Fabio Capello's decision," Terry said in a statement. "I will continue to give everything for England."