England national football captain John Terry has pleaded his case to coach Fabio Capello’s staff and should know by the end of the week whether he will retain the captaincy in the wake of an avalanche of criticism following allegations that he had an affair with the former girlfriend of his international teammate, Wayne Bridge.
Terry has made contact with Capello’s right-hand man, Franco Baldini, who in his capacity as general manager will speak to both players before meeting Capello in a bid to draw a line under an affair that threatens to have a destabilising effect on the team in the run-up to the World Cup.
Capello, who has been in Switzerland following surgery on his knee, was due back in England on Thursday and was scheduled to meet Baldini soon afterwards to assess the damage to team morale.
There is a desire to address the issue publicly before the team travels to Warsaw for the Euro 2012 qualifying draw.
Capello and Baldini are believed to be unimpressed with Terry’s latest indiscretion but want to hear from him and Bridge before deciding whether to strip the Chelsea defender of the captaincy.
It is understood that Capello has yet to form firm conclusions and wants to talk to Baldini in person before making a decision.
As well as bearing in mind the effect on the England dressing room, consideration of the wider responsibilities that come with the role is expected to be a factor.
Vanessa Perroncel, Bridge’s former girlfriend and the mother of his three-year-old son, has met celebrity publicist Max Clifford and has considered offers of up to £250 000 (about R2,9-million) to sell her story.
Terry, who is married with two children, has engaged former News of the World editor Phil Hall to apply his crisis-management expertise to the situation.
In the face of criticism from some quarters over its apparent unwillingness to act, the Football Association held the line that the matter was one for Capello and his staff.
In its first statement since details of the alleged affair emerged following a court ruling to overturn a “superinjunction” that banned newspapers from mentioning it, the Football Association said that “Fabio Capello alone will make the decision about John Terry