The Sports Matrix: Thursday 9 February 2012


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The Independent Online

'Insulted' Capello walks away from England job

Fabio Capello last night stepped down as England manager following a meeting with Football Association chiefs at Wembley. The Italian had been unhappy at the decision to remove John Terry as England captain last weekend as the Chelsea defender awaits trial over allegations of racial abuse, telling Italian television that he disagreed with the move to get rid of Terry.

"They [the FA] really insulted me and damaged my authority. What really hit me and forced me to take this decision was the fact the much-vaunted Anglo-Saxon sense of justice, as they are the first to claim that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

"In Terry's case, they gravely offended me and damaged my authority at the head of the England side, effectively creating a problem for the squad. I have never tolerated certain crossing of lines, so it was easy for me to spot it and take my decision to leave."

His decision to resign was announced by the FA after hours of meetings with the FA chairman David Bernstein.

Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce and Sir Trevor Brooking could take temporary charge of the England side. MORE

Redknapp relief after being cleared

Harry Redknapp spoke of his relief after being cleared of tax evasion charges yesterday. "It really has been a nightmare," the Tottenham manager said. "The most important thing is my family, who have been pulled through it the last five years." MORE

Spurs ahead of City in money league

Tottenham's run to last season's Champions League quarter-finals helped boost the club's revenue to £136.5m. The London club were placed 11th in Deloitte's European Money League, one above the current Premier League leaders Manchester City. MORE

Sunderland edge Teesside derby

Stéphane Sèssègnon's extra-time winner saw Sunderland defeat their local rivals Middlesbrough 2-1 in the FA Cup fourth-round replay at the Riverside last night. Martin O'Neill's side will host Arsenal on Saturday week in the fifth round. MORE

Zambia surprise Ghana to make final

Asamoah Gyan missed a first-half penalty as Zambia shocked Ghana 1-0 in the African Cup of Nations semi-finals last night. Emmanuel Mayuka's goal took Zambia through to Sunday's final, where they will play the Ivory Coast, who beat Mali 1-0. MORE

Davies banned for rest of Six Nations

The Wales lock Bradley Davies was yesterday ruled out of the rest of the Six Nations after being banned for seven weeks for his tackle on Donnacha Ryan. The lock made the dangerous tackle during Sunday's victory over Ireland in Dublin. MORE

England to prepare for spin bowlers

The England coach, Andy Flower, said his players would practise playing spin ahead of next month's tour of Sri Lanka. "We are going to have slightly different preparation," he said. "Nothing fancy, just a skeleton plan at the moment." MORE

Rock to keep rolling to Masters

Robert Rock believes he can take his good form into the build-up to the Masters. "I've got to do well in the next few weeks," the 34-year-old said. "I've the chance to play in a few big tournaments if I keep up a decent run. I'm a great believer in momentum."  MORE

Cavendish loses ground on leader

Mark Cavendish lost almost a minute to the stage winner, Tom Boonen, in yesterday's section of the Tour of Qatar. The British world champion finished 31st to slide from third to 11th overall. He has two stages left in which to repair the damage. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Fabio Capello's decision to walk makes the whole adventure of his appointment a sorry story of missed opportunity and colliding professional values. English football is made, once again, a laughing stock. MORE