Final insult for Capello
Italian's refusal to retract comments he made after FA's Terry call sealed his fate with England
THE English FA face a race against time to appoint a manager in time for this summer's European Championships after Fabio Capello's shock decision to quit the post over the governing body's decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy.
The English FA claimed the parting of the ways had been amicable despite a major disagreement between the its chairman, David Bernstein and Capello over the Italian's decision to go public with his disquiet over the FA's decision to demote Terry.
Quotes attributed to Capello on the Italpress news agency last night suggested he left Wembley nurturing a deep sense of injustice. The provenance of those quotes was later denied by Capello's lawyer son Pierfilippo and the FA.
The disputed quotes read: "They (the FA) really insulted me and damaged my authority. What really hit me and forced me to take this decision was the fact the much-vaunted Anglo-Saxon sense of justice, as they are the first to claim that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
"In Terry's case, they gravely offended me and damaged my authority at the head of the England side, effectively creating a problem for the squad. I have never tolerated certain crossing of lines, so it was easy for me to spot it and take my decision to leave."
Last night the 65-year-old Capello was already being linked with a lucrative move to Anzhi Makhachkala in Dagestan, in the Russian Federation.
He left Wembley at 5.30pm following a meeting with Bernstein and Alex Horne, the FA general secretary. During that meeting, Capello refused to apologise for going public with his criticism of the FA in his interview with RAI, the Italian broadcaster on Sunday.
In a dramatic day, the FA did not announce his departure until 7.30pm. Although Harry Redknapp, cleared of tax evasion charges yesterday, is the obvious successor to Capello, the FA are expected to announce Stuart Pearce as interim coach today for the friendly against the Netherlands on February 29, with Trevor Brooking also linked with a temporary role at the helm of the senior team.
Redknapp is considering his options after a whirlwind 48 hours. He recognises he owes a great debt of thanks to his club, Tottenham Hotspur, for their support during the tax case.
All Capello's Italian staff -- Italo Galbiati, Massimo Negri and Franco Tancredi -- also resigned their positions with the FA. The decision meant that the issue of whether compensation is payable -- there is around £3m left on Capello's contract -- is not yet clear.
His resignation revealed just how isolated Capello felt over the decision by Bernstein, which was rubber-stamped by the FA board, to take the captaincy away from Terry. It was made on Thursday and announced the following day. Capello was called by Bernstein on the Thursday night and informed the board that he "absolutely" disagreed with its decision on Terry.
On Sunday he gave an interview to RAI live from London in which he repeated his view that he "absolutely" disagreed with the decision. This caused enormous concern among the governing body, which felt that it represented a barefaced challenge to the FA from its most high-profile employee.
Bernstein told Capello yesterday that he could not accept the Italian criticising him and his employers so openly. With Capello refusing to back down on his view, he recognised there was no option for him but to resign.
The FA made the decision on Terry after the court date for him to face a charge of racial abuse was moved to 9 July, after the Euros. Capello had maintained all along that Terry should retain the captaincy on the principle of innocent until proved guilty.
The FA will announce the temporary appointment at Wembley this lunchtime at a press conference which Bernstein, Horne, Brooking will attend.
The FA statement said: "The discussions focused on the FA board's decision to remove the captaincy from John Terry, and Fabio Capello's response. In a meeting for over an hour, Fabio's resignation was accepted and he will leave the post of England manager."
Bernstein said: "I would like to stress that during today's meeting and throughout his time as England manager, Fabio has conducted himself in an extremely professional manner. We have accepted Fabio's resignation, agreeing this is the right decision. We would like to thank Fabio for his work with the England team and wish him every success in the future."