Brooking insists that language is no barrier for Capello

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The England manager Fabio Capello is improving his English skills all the time, according to his Football Association colleague, Sir Trevor Brooking.

Brooking, the FA's director of football development, revealed today that the Italian was still "cautious" speaking in larger groups but insisted his English would be good enough to talk to the players when it counts.

Capello promised to learn sufficient english inside a month when he answered questions in Italian at his unveiling as England manager in December. Speaking after the draw for the English Schools FA Minute Maid Cup in London yesterday, Brooking claimed Capello was fine with a handful of individuals.

"He is a little bit more cautious talking in front of a group," Brooking said. "It's improving all the time. I'm sure once you get into the competitive games it's not going to be an issue. He speaks three languages anyway.

"He's picking it up very quickly – certainly he's picking up the English quicker than I am his Italian. I don't think it will be an issue from the players' point of view."

At Capello's first press conference after his appointment on 17 December last year, he spoke just a few words of English and answered questions from the media through a translator. But he promised to master the language quickly.

Elsewhere, in Italy, Serie A side Palermo have failed in their bid to have Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Roma overturned or replayed due to the quick-thinking actions of a ball boy.

The Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini said the boy had broken the rules by placing the ball on the corner spot which then allowed Roma to take a quick corner, from which Mancini scored.

"I have dispatched my lawyers and I have asked for a 3-0 win or at least for the match to be replayed," Zamparini said. "We have read the rules – the ball boys must stay behind the advertising boards and throw the ball to the nearest player. What happened on Saturday is against the rules."

However, the league's disciplinary commission has rejected the appeal, a statement said yesterday. Roma are second in the league while Palermo, who have lost four in a row in all competitions, are ninth.