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Terry stripped of captaincy

NOT LEADING: John Terry has been stripped of his England captaincy

JOHN TERRY was this morning stripped of his England captaincy due to concerns about his pending racism trial.

It is believed the England and Chelsea defender was informed of the decision by Football Association (FA) chairman, David Bernstein, in a phone call this morning.

"The Board has discussed the matter in detail and has collectively decided it is in the interests of all parties that John has the responsibilities of captaincy removed at this time," a statement from FA read.

Earlier this week, Terry's legal team entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf following charges he racially abused fellow footballer, QPR's Anton Ferdinand, during Premier League match on October 23. Terry is to appear before court on July 9.

Video footage from the match allegedly shows the 31-year-old calling Ferdinand a "a f**king black c**t." He was charged with racially-aggravated public order.

"I will fight tooth and nail to prove my innocence," Terry said after the Crown Prosecution Service announced plans to prosecute him.

Terry faces a maximum fine of £2,500 if convicted.

The trial date will come after the end of Euro 2012 and before the start of the 2012/13 Premier League season.

The FA also confirmed that England manager, Fabio Capello, is free to decide whether Terry will be taken out for the England squad for Euro 2012.

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