In a surprise twist for one of the world’s premiere national soccer teams, Fabio Capello resigned as England coach, today.
The resignation followed an hour-long meeting with top Football Association officials. The association made the news official in a press release posted on its website. The statement read in part:
“The discussions focused on The FA Board’s decision to remove the England team captaincy from John Terry, and Fabio Capello’s response through an Italian broadcast interview.
“In a meeting for over an hour, Fabio’s resignation was accepted and he will leave the post of England Manager with immediate effect.”
According to the BBC, the move comes after Capello criticized the FA’s decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy in an interview with Italian TV on Monday. If you remember, in Decemeber Mark reported that Terry was facing criminal charges “for allegedly aiming a racial slur at an opponent.” He’s scheduled to stand trial July 9.
The BBC reports that Capello said Terry should keep “the captain’s armband.”
He added: “I have spoken to the [FA] chairman and I have said that in my opinion one cannot be punished until it is official and the court – a non-sport court, a civil court – had made a decision to decide if John Terry has done what he is accused of.”
The AP reports that the spat began when Capello felt publicly undermined after the FA chairman made the Terry decision without consulting him. The wire service adds that move throws the national team’s “preparations for the European Championship into turmoil.”
The AP adds a bit of background on Capello’s tenure in England:
“After a lengthy honeymoon following a perfect World Cup qualifying campaign, the aura of a once-renowned disciplinarian started to fade in South Africa in 2010.
“Capello started to feel the kind of pressure he was used to when coaching Real Madrid and AC Milan, with his decision-making coming under serious scrutiny as England was eliminated with a 4-1 loss to Germany in the second round.
“Capello clung onto his job, reviving the spirit in the England camp and starting to bring young talent into the team ahead of Euro 2012.”