The England manager, Fabio Capello, was at loggerheads with the Football Association last night after he launched a personal attack on the governing body's decision last week to strip John Terry of the captaincy in an interview with an Italian broadcaster.
The 65-year-old appeared to challenge the authority of his employers in an interview with RAI in which he criticised the decision made on Friday that Terry would not be captain until he resolved his case for racial abuse that will not be heard until 9 July, after the European Championships.
Asked by the RAI interviewer whether he agreed with the FA decision, Capello replied: "No, absolutely not. I spoke with the chairman [David Bernstein] and I told him that I don't think someone can be punished until it becomes official. The court will decide. It's going to be civil justice, not sports justice, to decide if John Terry committed that crime that he is accused of. And I thought it fair that John Terry keeps the captain's armband."
In a move that could herald a breakdown in relations between Capello and the FA, the England manager appeared to suggest in one version of the interview that that he believed Terry was "still the captain". The interview was given to the Italian broadcaster RAI via video link from London.
The position of the FA remains the same as it was on Thursday night when the decision of the 14-strong FA board to take the captaincy away from Terry was communicated to the England manager while he was on holiday in Italy.
When the Capello camp were informed of the decision they checked Capello's employment contract to ascertain if the FA had the right to take the captaincy away from Terry. Having done so, Capello accepts that the FA does have the contractual right above the head of the England manager.
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