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Page last updated at 07:16 GMT, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Fabio Capello blames money for player problems

International friendly - England v Egypt
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Wednesday, 3 March Kick-off: 2000 GMT
Coverage: Live on ITV1, full commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and online, live text updates on BBC Sport website.

England manager Fabio Capello
Capello has named Steven Gerrard his captain for the Egypt match

England manager Fabio Capello has blamed the amount of money paid to his stars for contributing to a series of off-field controversies.

Capello is concerned at the recent scandals which are threatening to undermine England's World Cup hopes.

"They are young boys, who are rich boys. This is the problem," he said.

"It is not only here. In Italy, in Germany, in Spain, in every country where football is so important it is the same problem."

The England manager, whose side take on Egypt on Wednesday night, has had to deal with a series of scandals over the last few weeks.

Capello stripped Chelsea's John Terry of the England captaincy following allegations of an affair with the ex-girlfriend of former Chelsea team-mate Wayne Bridge.

Bridge, who did not shake Terry's hand before the meeting between Chelsea and Manchester City last weekend, said last week he no longer wished to play for England because his position in the squad had become "untenable and potentially divisive".


England left-back Ashley Cole also hit the headlines last month over his separation from wife Cheryl.

And Capello has warned his players to keep control of their personal lives so that there are no distractions ahead of the World Cup.

"The private life is a big problem for some players, but also brings big problems for the clubs and for me," he added.

"Players have to be an example to the children, for all the fans.

"For that reason, they have to stay careful at all times and sacrifice something in their lives.

"It will be really important in this last period to be careful in their own lives. I ask them to take no chances."

Capello spoke to his England squad on Monday, saying: "I told the players we have to recreate the spirit of the group and train really focused.

Capello speaks to his England squad this week
Capello gets his point across to England's players this week

"I want to speak about the performance. I want to speak about the style we played, only about what really happened during the game. Not outside the pitch."

Capello has already stated that the wives and girlfriends of England players, or 'WAGs', who overshadowed Sven-Goran Eriksson's spell in charge of England during the World Cup campaign in Germany 2006, will have a restricted role in this summer's tournament.

And Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard, who will lead England for the Egypt match, says his wife Alex will not be in South Africa "unless we get to the semis or the final".

"I don't know if having the WAGs there affected our performance last time," he said. "But my wife won't be there.

"She's got two kids who'll be in school and it's a long way away. If we get to the semis, she deserves to come and see me."

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see also
England fans admit Terry concerns
03 Mar 10 |  Football
Capello sets World Cup squad date
03 Mar 10 |  Football
Gerrard named as England captain
02 Mar 10 |  Football
England 3-1 Egypt
03 Mar 10 |  Football
Milner criticises Wembley pitch
02 Mar 10 |  Football
Rooney asks fans not to boo Terry
01 Mar 10 |  Football
Shawcross named in England squad
27 Feb 10 |  Football
Terry will not lead under Capello
28 Feb 10 |  Football
Capello hopes for Bridge rethink
26 Feb 10 |  Football
Capello warns squad over conduct
24 Feb 10 |  World Cup 2010
Cheryl Cole announces separation
23 Feb 10 |  Entertainment

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