British Sports Minister Praises FA’s Handling of Capello Resignation

February 9, 2012

The Football Association has gotten plaudits for their handling of Fabio Capello’s resignation by British sports minister Hugh Robertson.

The minister, who only a year ago called football the “worst-governed sport in the UK”, said the FA had “acted decisively and with enormous integrity” in standing their ground against Capello after he criticised their decision to take the England captaincy away from John Terry due to his July trial for alleged racism.

Robertson told Press Association Sport: “I don’t think the FA could have the England manager in conflict with them over such an important principle going into the European Championships.

“The moment Capello went on Italian TV and openly criticised them then there was no going back – either the FA had to get him to retract what he had said or he had to go.

“The FA have acted decisively and with enormous integrity. If they had simply tried to sweep this under the carpet they would have been attacked for being weak.”

Robertson had special praise for FA chairman David Bernstein, who went over Capello’s head to remove the captaincy from Terry until the outcome of his trial where the denies racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.

“I do think the FA have handled it well and David Bernstein is a class act,” added Robertson.

“There is a view that he [Terry] should have been suspended as soon as he was charged but they thought that the trial would be before the European Championships.

“Once it became clear last week that it would be afterwards they took the entirely pragmatic view that although innocent until proven guilty it would be impossible to carry out such a high-profile job as England captain with all that hanging over him.”

by Ismail Uddin

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