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Page last updated at 19:36 GMT, Wednesday, 16 March 2011

England captaincy saga continues

John Terry and Rio Ferdinand
Ferdinand (right) succeeded Terry (left) as long-term England captain

Dan Roan
BBC Sport News Correspondent

England coach Fabio Capello may delay making a decision on who to appoint as his long-term captain, BBC Sport understands.

The Italian had suggested earlier this week that Chelsea player John Terry would regain the captaincy.

And the BBC learnt current skipper Rio Ferdinand is "very upset" about the possibility of losing the role.

England play Wales on 26 March and then Ghana three days later, after which Capello could make his decision.

This leaves Manchester United defender Ferdinand facing an anxious wait before finding out if his 13 month captaincy is to be brought to an abrupt end.

Ferdinand was informed by Franco Baldini, England's general manager, that Capello would be in the Manchester United director's box on Tuesday night during the Champions League match against Marseille, but the defender decided not to meet with him.

Having apparently been snubbed, it is understood Capello will not make another attempt to contact Ferdinand before the England squad meet up on Monday, leaving Ferdinand in a state of limbo.


Capello may now wait to see how his squad react to Terry's controversial return as captain before announcing a decision, but the fact that senior officials at the FA believe Capello is minded to reappoint Terry suggests the Italian's mind is made up.

The FA are privately disappointed that Capello allowed his stance on Terry to become public before Ferdinand had been informed.

Terry will captain England for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales next week and the friendly against Ghana in the absence of the injured Ferdinand and vice-captain Steven Gerrard.

The defender was sacked as captain after allegations of an affair with the former girlfriend of Wayne Bridge 13 months ago, with Capello vowing never to give him the armband again.

But the England manager is known to be concerned by the length of time Ferdinand is taking to recover from a calf injury, and feels Terry has served his punishment.

When asked about the captaincy this week, Capello admitted "it does not need to be captain for one game, it needs to be permanent".

Despite that comment, those close to Capello insist he may have been misinterpreted, and that Terry may yet be appointed on a temporary basis.

The captaincy has become a big issue for Capello in the wake of February's friendly against Denmark.

With Ferdinand and Gerrard both absent, Frank Lampard started the match in Copenhagen as skipper but passed the armband to Gareth Barry when he was substituted.

In turn, Barry gave it to Ashley Cole when he was replaced.

"I was really upset about what happened in Denmark, when I saw the players saying 'who is the captain?'," said Capello.

But with neither the FA or Capello clarifying the position of the England captaincy publicly, speculation is set to continue.

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see also
Ferdinand 'upset' over captaincy
15 Mar 11 |  Football
Denmark 1-2 England
09 Feb 11 |  Football
Ferdinand set to miss England tie
13 Mar 11 |  Football
Capello strips Terry of captaincy
05 Feb 10 |  Football
Terry appointed England captain
19 Aug 08 |  Internationals

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