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Capello Resigns as England Soccer Coach Over Terry Captaincy

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Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Fabio Capello resigned as manager of the England soccer team over a disagreement with the Football Association’s decision to strip John Terry of the team captaincy.

The Italian offered to step down at a meeting today with F.A. Chairman David Bernstein and General Secretary Alex Horne, the governing body said in a statement on its website.

“During today’s meeting and throughout his time as England manager, Fabio has conducted himself in an extremely professional manner,” Bernstein said in the statement.

The F.A. didn’t consult Capello before stripping Chelsea player Terry of the England captaincy after his criminal trial on a charge of racially abusing an opponent was delayed this month until July 9, after this year’s European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

The 65-year-old Capello said in an interview in his native language with Italpress that he was “gravely offended” by the F.A.’s decision to relieve Terry of the captaincy, the U.K.’s Sky News reported. Capello’s son and agent Pierfilippo Capello said the report was “not accurate and not true.”

Capello resigned hours after Harry Redknapp, the favorite to replace the Italian, was cleared of two charges of tax evasion at a London court. Capello, who was hired in 2007, was to step down after the European Championship.

Redknapp as Replacement?

U.K. bookmaker Coral said it has stopped taking bets on Tottenham coach Redknapp after listing him as 2-1 favorite before the end of his trial to succeed Capello. That would mean a successful $1 bet would bring in $2 plus the original stake.

Today’s meeting was the first face-to-face encounter between Capello and F.A. officials since Terry was removed. The central defender denies racially abusing Queens Park Rangers player Anton Ferdinand in an English Premier League match in October.

Capello reinstated Terry to the captaincy last year after stripping him of the role in 2010 over allegations of marital infidelity with the ex-girlfriend of former teammate Wayne Bridge.

Bernstein and England team officials will hold a press conference tomorrow at Wembley Stadium in London at noon local time.

Bernstein has spoken in the past of wanting an Englishman to manage the national team.

Sports data company Opta released figures saying Capello had the best record of any England coach since World War II. He won more than two-thirds of his matches, 5.6 percent more than Alf Ramsey, who coached England to its only World Cup triumph in 1966.

Capello, who won national championships with Real Madrid, Roma, Juventus and AC Milan, guided England to the 2010 World Cup. He signed a new contract days before the start of the tournament in South Africa and the F.A. then resisted calls to fire him following a 4-1 defeat to Germany in the second round of the event.

England topped its group in qualifying for Euro 2012.

To contact the reporters on this story: Bob Bensch in London at; Tariq Panja in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at