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Page last updated at 17:37 GMT, Monday, 21 March 2011

Ferdinand to play on for England after losing captaincy

Dan Roan
BBC Sports News Correspondent

Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand lost the England captaincy to John Terry

Rio Ferdinand is still available for England duty despite controversially losing the captaincy, according to a source close to the player.

BBC Sport revealed last week that boss Fabio Capello's decision to return it to John Terry had upset Ferdinand.

It was suggested the defender, who has a long-term injury, was appalled by Capello's off-hand treatment and considered his international future.

"Rio will never turn his back on England," the source said.

"He loves playing for his country and Fabio Capello cannot change that."

The Italian has confirmed that Terry will captain England in this weekend's Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales, the friendly against Ghana next week, and beyond.

The Chelsea defender is due to hold a press conference alongside Capello on Friday.

The issue threatens to dominate the build-up to this Saturday's match in Cardiff and a first call-up for Wolves winger Matt Jarvis.

Ferdinand seemed to avoid meetings with Capello on both Wednesday and Saturday as the manager visited Old Trafford for matches against Marseille and Bolton.

Several members of the England squad are thought to be unhappy at the reinstatement of Terry after he was stripped of the role following allegations of an affair with a former girlfriend of ex-team-mate Wayne Bridge over a year ago.

At the time Capello vowed never to select Terry as captain again, but Ferdinand's injury problems have brought about a dramatic U-turn.

Choice of captain will not affect players - Johnson

The squad reported to their Hertfordshire team base on Monday, and Capello is expected to explain his reasons for the change of heart at a team meeting on Tuesday.

Steven Gerrard has been relegated to England's third-choice captain after Terry's return, but England defender Glen Johnson says both his Liverpool team-mate and Ferdinand will accept Capello's decision.

"Obviously, every player that wears the armband will be very proud. I'm sure they'll be disappointed to have not kept it, but it's football and I'm sure they won't beat themselves up about it too much," said Johnson.

"I'm sure they'll get on with it as good pros and carry on doing the good job that they do.

"Obviously, you're going to be aware of situations, but the players just go about their job in the same way regardless of who wears the armband."

Johnson, who played alongside Terry at Chelsea before signing for Portsmouth in 2007, added: "He's been a fantastic captain for Chelsea and for England and whether he wears the armband or not he'll be the same as he is normally.

"John Terry leads by example. He loves the shirt and wears his heart on his sleeve.

"He is a vocal presence who tries to help the new lads in the squad. He can see the whole game and organises everything.

"He's a leader and he deserves the armband."

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see also
Winger Jarvis eyes England impact
21 Mar 11 |  Football
Speed's Wales sell-out rally cry
21 Mar 11 |  Welsh
Terry returns as England captain
20 Mar 11 |  Football
England captaincy saga drags on
16 Mar 11 |  Football
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

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Yahoo! UK and Ireland Milner hails captain 'fantastic' Terry - 32 mins ago
Daily Express Milner - Captaincy not an issue - 34 mins ago England move on from captain debate - 41 mins ago Peter Crouch wants England to beat Wales to prevent Gareth Bale taunts - 44 mins ago
The Independent Terry throws down gauntlet - 44 mins ago