RIO Ferdinand has reignited his feud with John Terry and dashed any suggestion of reconciliation between the two central defenders.
The decision to put Terry on trial for race abuse against Anton Ferdinand after Euro 2012 was met with scorn by the elder Ferdinand on Twitter today.
"I feel insulted, woke up with a bad taste in my mouth, it's a god-damn joke!" said Ferdinand in a bitter Twitter response to Terry's trial being delayed until July. Rio Ferdinand was previously critical of the manner in which the case was handled, and of the way he lost the England captaincy to Terry, who was reinstated to the skipper's role by manager Fabio Capello after the 2010 World Cup.
There had been growing calls for Terry to stand down as England skipper, to avoid any possible friction with other black England internationals in the build-up to Euro 2012.
Capello was prepared to back Terry until his innocence of racist abust against Anton Ferdinand was proven or otherwise. But further speculation today suggests that the English Football Association is gathering itself to strip Terry of the captaincy for the second time and, if that happens, it is difficult to see how he can have any involvement in England's Euro 2012 plans.
Terry lost the armband before the 2010 World Cup when Capello axed him after allegations that he had an affair with Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend.
Rio is struggling to be fit for Sunday's showdown with Chelsea, an outcome which would suit the football authorities given the fact that it was widely expected that any offer of a pre-match handshake from Terry would be rejected.
Talk of the English FA's leaders stripping the Chelsea skipper of the England captaincy is gathering pace, and FA chairman David Bernstein contacted all the other members of the 12-strong board to seek their views on Terry's role.
More than one board member argued strongly that Terry should not be the England figurehead and that the FA should act immediately.
The spectre of England being forced to make a complaint about racist abuse from the crowd when playing matches in Ukraine this summer has been raised -- and it would be difficult for the FA to take the moral high ground if England's captain is himself facing a criminal charge for racism.
Other board members believe the FA is in a no-win situation and that if it removes the England captaincy from Terry, the organisation will be accused of pre-judging the case and ignoring the principle of innocence until proven guilty.
Terry's barrister on Wednesday entered a formal 'not guilty' plea.
Capello is another factor and the Italian has insisted he should be the one making the decisions over the role of captain. Some significant voices have been raised calling for Terry to stand aside.
Damian Collins, a politician who sits on the culture, media and sport committee, said: "He is in a public position as England captain. Anyone else in a public position faced with such a criminal charge would stand aside and then, if cleared, be able to return to that position."
The possible presence of Rio Ferdinand in the England squad could also be a factor -- and Reading striker Jason Roberts said: "The dressing room at the Euros will be toxic unless the correct decision is made."