Cole avoids England censure over charge

Capello decides he will not punish Chelsea defender over nightclub incident

Ashley Cole will not be dropped by Fabio Capello for England's next two games against Slovakia and Ukraine despite being the first senior player to step out of line publicly since Capello took over. The England manager considers Cole's drunken confrontation with police on Wednesday night to be a club matter and has left it with Chelsea, although he disapproves of Cole's behaviour.

Chelsea's interim manager Guus Hiddink said yesterday that Cole, as well as John Terry and Michael Mancienne, who were with him on Wednesday, had been reminded of their responsibilities. Given the delicacies of the club disciplinary process, Capello, who has established himself as a fairly uncompromising man-manager, has decided that it would not be worth prolonging Chelsea and Cole's embarrassment. Fitness permitting, Capello will pick him for the friendly against Slovakia on 28 March and the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine four days later.

Cole will play against Coventry City in the FA Cup quarter-finals today and is likely to be fined £170,000 by Chelsea, the maximum two weeks' wages. He does have the right to appeal under the club rules, but is unlikely to do so. His apology for his drunk and disorderly charge – incurred when he swore at police officers outside a nightclub in Kensington – has convinced Capello that the matter is now closed.

The England manager is prepared for the fact that Cole's behaviour will be a major factor in the build-up to the two games. Capello's captain Terry, and Mancienne, who was picked in the England squad to play Germany in November, have told the club that their involvement in the incident was minimal. Mancienne was not even drinking and drove himself home.

Hiddink said that he had emphasised to the three players "you have to know at a certain time when you have to leave and not get involved in what happened". The Dutch coach added: "I have spoken firmly with him [Cole] about this and there are rules inside this club about going out. I had a firm talk with him and with the rest of the group. What is normal and good in this is that he apologised for his abusive behaviour to the policemen.

"I don't come from an innocent country, it's not my first year in this business, so I have some experience in this. To be honest, it's amazing if you fall once in some trap, try to avoid it the second time, although sometimes there are challenges. There's human reaction, sometimes without justification. It's curious with those players, but it's like that.

"I cannot – will not – control their private life. They must be intelligent people to have succeeded in a big club or in football. I'm not a police officer, nor am I a father figure. I want to speak to them very directly. To hug them sometimes and also be tough. That depends on the situation. I can be firm with them. I don't want to cover up and be a father and accept everything. They are in a fantastic job and have their responsibility to themselves and the club."

Cole was told not to report to training on Thursday after he was released by police – who fined him £80 – at 5.30am that morning. "Mentally, he was a little bit out of order on Thursday, it must be said," Hiddink said. He made his apologies and I think he didn't suffer too much physically and he trained this morning [yesterday] and he was OK."

Hiddink said that he did not mind his players drinking alcohol in moderation, and by that he meant Real Madrid's custom of having half a glass of wine with dinner the night before a game. "Physically, if you drink too much, it's a setback on your physical condition," Hiddink said. "When they have dinner and one glass of wine that's normal. But they have their responsibility. Physically you can harm yourself and then you harm the team as well."

Hiddink revealed that striker Nicolas Anelka is struggling to be fit for the Juventus game next week. Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Essien could feature at some point today. However, the defender Paulo Ferreira has suffered a cruciate ligament injury and will be out for the rest of the season.

News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions