Not for the first time, England's preparations for a major football tournament are subject to damaging internal conflict. With just four months to go until the start of Euro 2012, the manager, Fabio Capello, and his employers at the Football Association are at loggerheads over the stripping of the captaincy from John Terry.
Capello might reasonably argue that Terry – who faces criminal proceedings on a charge of racism – is innocent until proved guilty, but there were still sound reasons for the FA to make the decision that it did. For the sake of team unity, Capello should have respected it.
His intervention risks exacerbating dressing-room divisions over the Terry affair. It will do nothing for Capello's already strained relations with his bosses, nor for the team's performances. He is due to quit the post after Euro 2012. Events suggest that his tenure as England boss may have already reached its natural conclusion.
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