Capello will have no association with Index say FA

Fabio Capello will have nothing to do with the controversial Capello Index while he remains England manager, the Football Association confirmed today.

The www.capelloindex.com website was still accessible this afternoon, despite claims that it was set to be taken down.

The FA were earlier confident it would be removed from the internet by the end of today, saying the delay was due to technical issues.

But although error messages appeared at times, it remained possible to view the rankings, which England boss Capello demanded be deleted on Saturday.

The website went live in the early hours of Saturday morning, with the Italian claiming it had done so without his approval or knowledge.

His representatives have been working to take it down since.

The rankings proved to be particularly critical of Capello's own players after their disappointing display at the World Cup.

The Capello Index was set up by the England manager and business partner Chicco Merighi to publicly rank players' performances in South Africa.

It was shelved until after the tournament amid fears it could create a rift between the Italian and his squad.

Club England managing director Adrian Bevington today confirmed Capello would now have no input into the site while in charge of the national team.

Bevington told the FA's official website, www.thefa.com: "After the developments of the weekend, this will not happen while Fabio is England manager.

"We have been consistent with this view, but managed sensitively.

"However, as has been made clear, Fabio had absolutely no involvement in the ratings that have appeared from the World Cup and did not give his name or approval to them."

Meanwhile, Capello's son has apologised on behalf of the England manager for the controversy the rankings have created.

According to The Daily Star, Capello's son Pierfilippo, who acts as his father's agent, said: "Fabio is very sorry and upset this has happened.

"Like me also, he is sorry for his relationship with the FA because we had told them that there would not be any ratings appearing on and of the England players."

He added: "There is no commercial value in this to Fabio - he was just interested to see and compare how the statistics would compare with his own evaluations.

"These are not Fabio's ratings, so there is no reason why we would have to explain anything to the players in terms of trying to regain any trust.

"We are now looking to have his name removed from the title."

Bevington also insisted the removal of a clause in Capello's four-year contract which would have allowed a parting of the ways after the World Cup had nothing to do with money.

The clause in the Italian's original deal was taken out shortly before the tournament in South Africa, the build-up to which saw Capello linked with the Inter Milan job.

Bevington said: "Fabio's original contract, which had a clause allowing either party to terminate for a short period after the World Cup, was not without financial penalty.

"If we had left the clause in, the FA would still have been liable for several million pounds. Without the clause, after negotiation, it would have been a similar figure.

"Therefore, the reason the original clause was removed was to show faith and commitment on both sides. So the decision to retain Fabio was not a financial one, it was based on football criteria alone.

"Those involved in talks and day-to-day work with Fabio were always resolute that he should remain manager for the full length of his contract and, despite the extreme disappointment of the World Cup, that view has remained.

"The agreement to remove the clause was reached several weeks before the Inter Milan approach.

"All those involved in formalising the amended agreement the day the team travelled to South Africa were doing was honouring what was previously agreed.

"Not to do so at that time would have caused major strain going into the tournament.

"We should also be clear we have not paid Fabio or his staff a penny more due to this amendment."

Bevington also defended the FA's delay in confirming Capello would keep his job after the World Cup, which saw England crash out in the second round with a 4-1 thrashing by Germany.

He said: "The reason for the delay in confirming Fabio would continue in the role at the press conference the day after our exit was because we wanted to ensure we considered things in a calm environment and went through a correct process with our main board."

Capello's bid to repair his dented reputation will begin with next month's friendly against Hungary.

Bevington acknowledged supporters disillusioned with England's limp World Cup displays may choose to stay away from Wembley on August 11.

"Like the whole country, everyone involved with the team and at the FA has been massively disappointed by the World Cup performance," he said.

"We fully understand the fans and the wider public's anger and frustration. We appreciate that thousands of people spent huge amounts of money to travel to South Africa and understandably feel very let down.

"We have a responsibility to put immediate and long-term plans in place to give England a genuine chance of success in tournaments to come.

"We accept it is going to take time to rebuild the trust with the fans. It may be that the crowd for the Hungary game is low in comparison with other Wembley crowds. That's understandable.

"However, we already know that our fans have proved themselves to be the best and most loyal supporters at home and abroad in international football. We want to reward them with a winning team."

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