Robertson backs FA's stance
Sports Minister believes Terry had to lose captaincy
Last Updated: February 7, 2012 8:01am
Sports Minister Hugh Robertson has backed the Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.
Last Friday the FA announced their decision to remove the armband from Terry until the outcome of his court case in July where he denies a charge of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand.
England head coach Fabio Capello told Italian TV he "absolutely" disagreed with the FA's stance, believing individuals are innocent until proven guilty.
Robertson has now joining the ongoing debate, although he is of the firm belief that the FA have reached the 'right' decision, as it was the only practical and sensible thing to do.
"It's a difficult situation and emotions are running high, but I think up to now the FA have acted very sensibly, very reasonably and come to the right decision," Robertson told Sky Sports News.
"There were two things they had to tackle at the end of last week. The moral case, which is very, very difficult one, because in this country you are innocent until proved guilty.
"It would have been very tough to take action on that front, but then there was also the practical side of it which is that it was going to make it extraordinarily difficult for John Terry, fabulous footballer and great captain that he is, to discharge that responsibility in the white heat of this sort of publicity during the European Championship so I believe they entirely made the right decision.
"I don't think there's any, any way that John Terry could have carried out the very considerable duties that are required of the national captain with this sort of thing going on in the background. Every single press conference, every single appearance, everything the England team had done during those Euros if he would have been captain would have had that as a backdrop.
"Whatever you think of John Terry the person, what you think about the case that is bound to of had a very poor effect on the team. So it was the only practical and sensible thing the FA could do."
There have been suggestions that Capello and Terry could both call it quits ahead of this summer's European Championship following the fall out and Robertson would regret it if that happened.
"That is entirely up to them and if they do so then so be it," he continued. "That doesn't in any way change the fact the FA had a difficult decision to make. The chairman spoke to his board, I think weighed it all up and took in my view the right decision.
"If the consequence of that is the manager walks away, if the consequence of that is John Terry walks away I would regret those two things enormously, but so be it."