FA were right to be wary of Terry

Former England  captain John Terry
Former England captain John Terry
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Firing John Terry as captain of England was exactly the right decision.

It would have been an affront to have our national team led out at Euro 2012 by a man about to go on trial for racial abuse.

Of course, Terry is innocent until proven guilty.

But just as a teacher or doctor facing a serious accusation would be suspended from duty, the Chelsea defender can also no longer expect to hold such a prestigious post until the matter is cleared up.

Of course, the case should have been heard by now.

Why has the legal process been delayed until July just because it is football?

Who else gets that special treatment?

The FA have been forced to take a decision because there is no verdict from the courts.

Nobody doubts Terry’s on-pitch leadership qualities as a clenched-fist John Bull–style torch bearer for the England cause.

But he has been in rather too many scrapes and controversies off the pitch to be recognised as a role model in the same way as former England skippers like Bobby Moore, Bryan Robson and Billy Wright.

There was the story about him parking in a space for the disabled, the allegations that he was charging £10,000 for private trips around Chelsea’s training ground, and the scandal involving team-mate Wayne Bridge’s former girlfriend.

Coach Fabio Capello admitted on Sunday night on Italian TV his anger that he was not consulted over Terry’s latest demotion to the ranks.

But since Capello is packing his bags after the Euros, his strained relations with the Football Association over this hardly matter.

Presumably, the manager will get a say on who takes over from Terry.

I am no fan of goalkeepers as captains, otherwise the confident and blameless Joe Hart would be a decent choice.

Spurs’ Scott Parker has cemented his place in the team, it seems, and he is a level-headed type who would lead from the front.

But Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard is a sound leader by example who is virtually assured of his place in the team and he would be my choice.

The only possible snags are Gerrard’s age (31), his injury record, and a relatively-quiet demeanour.

That leaves the question of whether Terry should even be allowed to play for England until the racial abuse trial is heard in July.

I believe it would be unfair to rob him of his chance to appear at the Euros – so long as he is kept away from the captain’s spotlight.

But does he even want to go on wearing the white shirt after twice losing the armband – and do the other players want him in the dressing room?