Evening Standard

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John Terry refused a plea from the Professional Footballers’ Association to step down as England captain until after his trial for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.

Standard Sport can reveal that the players’ union approached the Chelsea skipper after his case was adjourned until July 9, eight days after the Euro 2012 Final.

The PFA made it clear to Terry – who denies the charge – that if he gave up the role they would issue a statement saying it was not an admission of guilt and that the defender was innocent until the court had reached a verdict.

However, Standard Sport understands the offer was rejected by Terry’s advisers who felt such a move might have had an adverse impact on his trial.

It was after those talks collapsed, that the Football Association stepped in and stripped the player of the captaincy – a decision that so outraged Fabio Capello that he quit as England manager.

Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the PFA, refused to comment on whether his organisation had tried to persuade Terry to stand down.

However, he told Standard Sport of his concerns had Terry led the team during the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

Taylor said: “Once the decision to postpone the case was made, the FA decided to remove the captaincy from John Terry. We respected that decision without any inference of guilt or innocence on the part of John Terry. With the European Championships coming up the focus should be on the football rather than the impact of the court case. That would have been an elephant in the room at the captain’s press conferences and other occasions.”

The Terry affair has split Taylor’s union along racial lines with many of black players very upset that the situation was not dealt with soon after the incident is alleged to have taken place in October during the match between Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers. Taylor has been trying to hold his union together on the issue although his efforts were not helped at the weekend when Luis Suarez, having been punished by the FA for racially abusing Patrice Evra, refused to shake the Manchester United defender’s hand.

“Saturday was a terrible day for the image of the game,” said Taylor. “Sunday with the apology from Suarez and Liverpool was a step in the right direction. I don’t want any of my black members to feel reluctant to complain if they are on the receiving end of racial abuse because they fear the backlash.”


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