Day: February 3, 2012

John Terry & The Fetishisation Of The England Captaincy

In that special, unique way that only they can, the FA managed to set a dozen hungry cats amongst the pigeons of the John Terry case this morning. Their announcement, that Terry had been stripped of the England captaincy for this summer’s European Championships but that he would still be available for selection by Fabio Capello sends out a message so mixed that it would require an FA-branded centrifuge to be able to properly decipher. “He will not captain the England team until the allegations against him are resolved”, said their official statement this morning, before adding that, “The FA board can confirm that he has not been excluded from the squad.” This news follows the deferral of the hearing against him over allegations made regarding comments made to Queens Park Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand during their match against Chelsea last October. Terry has not yet been charged by the FA over this, presumably because they are awaiting the verdict of the court that will hear the criminal case against him, which is all well and good – a perfectly understandable reaction to an unforeseen situation – but the decision to strip him of the captaincy now, before the trial has been heard, but also to allow him to play this summer seems absurd in several different ways. On the one hand, those that would defend Terry will ask – with justification...

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The 2012 African Cup Of Nations: The Group Stages – Final Matches

The tragedy that occurred in Port Said on Wednesday evening has overshadowed all else in world football this week, and this is a subject that we will be returning to when the dust has settled on a disaster so appalling as to be almost incomprehensible. Reports from Egypt have been pouring across the world via social media, and we would urge anyone reading this to bear in mind when reading reports on this subject elsewhere in the media that the events of this week are representative of broader political issues in Egypt than mere football rivalries. In the meantime, Mark Murphy has been keeping up to date with the final round of group matches in this year’s African Cup of Nations. Group A I felt for Equatorial Guinea towards the end of their 1-0 defeat to Zambia. Not because of anything on the pitch. But just in case anyone associated with the team had tuned in to Eurosport. “Is this the match where it all falls apart for Equatorial Guinea?” asked commentator Wayne Boyce, in a tone conveying both eager anticipation and expectation. And, anyway, it wasn’t. The co-hosts didn’t quite reach the heights of their win over Senegal. But, as Boyce pointed out after the final whistle, only a “moment of magic” separated the sides. Well, it was a moment, certainly, although “magic” might have been stretching it...

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