Fabio Capello's plea for holiday privacy falls on deaf ears

England manager 'upset' by publication of pictures of him and wife in mudbath

When Fabio Capello spotted photographers trailing him during his holiday with his wife, Laura, in southern Italy last week, the England football manager assumed he knew just what to do – he contacted the Football Association so that it could alert the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), the newspaper industry watchdog, to stop the photographs being printed.

The PCC sent out a circular to all editors saying that Capello, 63, was "unhappy" that photographers had been pursuing him and would consider the publication of any images of him and his wife to be a "breach of their privacy". The News of the World decided otherwise, running seven shots showing the Capellos enjoying a mud bath on a beach and headlining the story "It's Fabio Cr*pello".

The story caused shock at the FA's London headquarters. The sophisticated Italian coach's indulgence in a spot of pelotherapy was crudely mocked by the newspaper, with a speech bubble quoting him as saying to his wife: "When I said 'Let's get dirty' this isn't quite what I had in mind." But more than that, the publication of the images indicated a breakdown in a system that had hitherto worked very well.

Since his appointment as England manager in January 2008, Capello has found himself the unwilling quarry of paparazzi and yet, through the intervention of the PCC, has managed to kill the market for the pictures by reminding editors that such an intrusion of his privacy might amount to a breach of the PCC's code of conduct. The policy appeared to be working perfectly, helping Capello to concentrate on managing a team that has qualified for next summer's World Cup in South Africa without dropping a single point.

So when the News of the World's story appeared on Sunday, with a plug for "more amazing Fabio photos" on the paper's website, the FA immediately complained to the PCC which contacted the paper's editor, Colin Myler, for an explanation. The pictures were later removed from the website.

The FA then wrote to newspapers and broadcasters to "formally request all other media do not use these photographs and respect the Capellos' right to privacy set out by the PCC". It pointed out that: "Fabio Capello and the FA could not have been clearer from the moment he commenced his role in January 2008 that he wants to enjoy a professional working relationship with the media, but he considers his private life and his family private."

Yesterday, the Daily Mail printed the story on page three, using two of the photographs published by the News of the World plus a third showing Mrs Capello in a mud pack stepping from a hot thermal lake. Alongside the main image of the muddied England manager in his swimming trunks was the headline: "Ooze a pretty boy then? Fabio takes a mudbath."

Yesterday, the PCC was in talks with the newspaper groups responsible, News International and Associated Newspapers, amid concerns that the relationship between Capello and the media has been badly damaged.

Sven Goran Eriksson's reign as England manager was characterised by lurid coverage of his private life ( some would argue that Eriksson brought this upon himself) and the Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari ruled himself out of the job in 2006 on the grounds that as soon as he was linked with the post the British media made his life impossible.

"I don't want this situation involving England because in two days during which I was not coach ... my life was invaded. My privacy was totally under siege," he complained.

Capello is especially protective of his wife, who has no desire to be a public figure. He was again in the spotlight yesterday as a guest at a memorial service for one of his predecessors, Sir Bobby Robson. Capello has diligently given pre- and post-match press conferences to newspapers, radio and television for every game during his English reign but has declined to give exclusive interviews for personal gain.

"Fabio Capello is one of the world's most experienced managers and is used to dealing with all manner of issues. He will handle this," said an FA source yesterday. "But that doesn't mean he's accepting it."

In the spotlight: Unhappy celebrities

*In 2001, the BBC newsreader Anna Ford was photographed in her swimsuit while on holiday in Majorca. Her complaint was rejected by the PCC as the beach was a public place.



*Also in 2001, OK! magazine was censured for publishing pictures of the eight-year-old daughter of author JK Rowling wearing a bikini on holiday on a beach in Mauritius.



*Prime Minister Gordon Brown took his wife and two sons on holiday to the Lake District this year and requested that the media not photograph his children.



*Simon Cowell's villa in the paparazzi mecca of Barbados was specially designed to be secluded from long-range snappers.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Brand Marketing Manager - Essex - £45,000 + £5000 car allowance

£40000 - £45000 per annum + car allowance: Ashdown Group: Senior Brand Manager...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer /.NET Software Developer

£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer /.NET Software ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing Exec (SEO / PPC)

£18 - 24k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing...

Guru Careers: Technical Operations Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical Ope...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all