Tag Archives: endorsement

Chris Froome says he is Team Sky"s main Tour de France rider ahead of Bradley Wiggins

Froome convinced he will be Team Sky's main man for Tour de France bid ahead of Wiggins

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UPDATED:

01:28 GMT, 18 December 2012

Chris Froome believes that he and not newly crowned Sports Personality of the Year Bradley Wiggins will be the main man in Team Sky's bid to win next year's Tour de France.

Froome, who sacrificed his chances in the 2012 Tour to support Wiggins, claims he has the endorsement of team director Dave Brailsford.

He told The Times: 'The team are saying they are going to back me with the Tour this year. That is directly from Dave.

Main man: Chris Froome (left) says he will be Team Sky's focus for the Tour

Main man: Chris Froome (left) says he will be Team Sky's focus for the Tour

No clues: Dave Brailsford remained on the fence

No clues: Dave Brailsford remained on the fence

'He said, “You're our main man for the Tour. Focus on it”. I am already following a programme building for the Tour with that as my core focus.'

Brailsford last night suggested the decision on which rider Sky will back had not yet been made.

He said: 'At the moment Chris is going full gas for the Tour and Brad is going there by a different route and we will see when they get there.

'The guys will be trying to be the best they can be. We will see what condition they are in. The legs will do the talking.'

Froome and Wiggins have an unsettled relationship – they do not mix socially and the doubt about which of them will be lead rider in 2013 is sure to cause more friction.

Wiggins made it clear after collecting his BBC award that he wants the chance to defend his Tour title.

In his book Wiggins suggested that he could not fully trust his team-mate.

'I think that’s sad,' said Froome. 'I will always do the job asked of me.

Sad: Froome was unimpressed at Wiggins suggesting he did not trust him

Sad: Froome was unimpressed at Wiggins suggesting he did not trust him

'We definitely have to rely on each other and I think Brad knows that he can rely on me to do the job. Despite everything said, I stuck by him in the Tour.

'I looked after him to the end. He’s more than professional enough to do the same for me.'

England are World Cup contenders, admits New Zealand coach Steve Hansen

Lancaster's brave, new England can rule the world, admits stunned coach Hansen

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UPDATED:

19:14 GMT, 1 December 2012

Stuart Lancaster's England side were
hailed as potential World Cup winners after recording an historic 38-21
victory against New Zealand at Twickenham.

Three tries in eight second-half
minutes from Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi saw England
inflict their biggest-ever win against the All Blacks in an absorbing
Test match.

Flying high: Chris Ashton goes over in typically exuberant fashion

Flying high: Chris Ashton goes over in typically exuberant fashion

Over: Ashton
England's records

England's previous biggest win over New Zealand was 13-0 at Twickenham in January, 1936.

England's previous highest score against New Zealand was the 31 points they scored in a 31-28 victory at Twickenham in November, 2002.

Only once in 498 Tests had New Zealand been beaten by a bigger margin – 28-7 against Australia in August, 1999.

England's last victory over New Zealand was 15-13 in Wellington in June, 2003.

England had not beaten New Zealand in their previous nine matches before this game.

New Zealand were unbeaten in their 20 Tests (19 victories and one draw) before this game.

New Zealand had not lost a Test to European opposition on an autumn tour since the 31-28 defeat to England in November, 2002.

And after watching his side's 20-match unbeaten run demolished New Zealand coach Steve Hansen gave Lancaster's young side a ringing endorsement.

Hansen said: 'There were two teams capable of winning the World Cup out there.

'No excuses, we got beaten by the better side. This is a good England side. You should get behind them and back them a bit. They have shown what they can do and if you back them it will make them even more dangerous.

'They thoroughly deserved their victory and should be proud of what they have achieved with magnificent football. They took the game to us from the get-go, full credit to them.'

England, who had lost narrowly to Australia and South Africa in the past two weeks, took a 15-0 lead at half-time, courtesy of four penalties and a drop goal by fly-half Owen Farrell.

And while New Zealand hit back with two tries from Julian Savea and Kieran Read to get within a point at 15-14 England regrouped in spectacular fashion to take the game away from the world champions, who gave some respectability to the scoreline with a late second try from Savea.

Lancaster said: “The performance was exactly what we had hoped for. I'm chuffed for the players. When the tough times came we stayed together. That team belief with a young England side definitely augurs well for the future.

On the charge: Brad Barritt breaks away before going over for England's first try

On the charge: Brad Barritt breaks away before going over for England's first try

On the charge: Brad Barritt breaks away before going over for England's first try

'At 15-14 we came back with three tries
of our own. We've tried to instil a no-fear mentality in the players and
to make them have the courage of their convictions.

'To build a 15-point lead was very pleasing. The All Blacks came back
strong but our energy and our fight for the shirt was outstanding.
That's what got us across the line.

'Our defence was outstanding. We forced the All Blacks into errors and not many sides do that.'

The victory was a triumph for captain Chris Robshaw, who had been
heavily criticised for poor decision-making against Australia and South
Africa. Robshaw gathered his players in a huddle at the end and
Lancaster explained the significance.

'Chris was saying that when we turn up for the Six Nations we must make
sure we are at this level and not drop back 10 per cent,' said
Lancaster.

'It is brilliant to get this result but we are on a long-term plan and we have to make sure we back up the performance.

'We didn't quite get across the line with Australia and South Africa but
to get across the line with New Zealand with a young team with 206 caps
in the starting XV is an unbelievable achievement.

Setting nerves jangling: Kieran Read went on the charge for the All Blacks' second try

Setting nerves jangling: Kieran Read went on the charge for the All Blacks' second try

On the charge: Julian Savea scores the first of his two tries to give New Zealand a foothold after half-time

On the charge: Julian Savea scores the first of his two tries to give New Zealand a foothold after half-time

'The win gives the players belief in the direction we are going and the rugby public a sense that this journey is the right one.

'We want to win here and now but we want to build a team for the future
and we have lads like Joe Launchbury and Jon Joseph and Owen Farrell and
Freddie (Burns) who are 21, 22 and 23 years old.

'They should be playing for England for years and we should be sat here
in 10 years time and still have the same group of lads with 800 caps in
our starting XV.'

To their credit New Zealand did not blame the sickness bug which had laid low many of their team in midweek.

When asked if it had a bearing, All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said: 'No, I don't think so. If we had fallen away at the end you might have
said that, but we felt fine in that department.

'We just struggled to get into the game. We were on the back foot and
put under pressure. Even when we got back in the game they didn't panic.
I was impressed with the way they played.'

England defence coach Andy Farrell saluted the work of Lancaster and his relationship with his players.

Farrell said: 'This young group has taken a lot of pressure. They have
turned that pressure into a performance everybody in the country can be
proud of.

'Stuart has always had the belief in the players and that has shone for
the last five weeks. The belief these players have from Stuart as their
head guy showed up there today on the pitch. He has led this team
magnificently.'

England forwards coach Graham Rowntree added: 'From the first minute to
the last minute I thought they had their foot on the throat. I'm very
proud of them. A lot of them have single figures in caps but you would
not have thought that.'

Metronomic: Owen Farrell's right boot accounted for 20 points

Metronomic: Owen Farrell's right boot accounted for 20 points

Clearing his lines: Ma'a Nonu kicks under pressure Owen Farrell

Clearing his lines: Ma'a Nonu kicks under pressure Owen Farrell

Lance Armstrong stripped of Tour de France titles

Armstrong stripped of Tour de France titles and banned for life as UCI ratify sanctions against disgraced rider

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UPDATED:

13:01 GMT, 22 October 2012

Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after
the sport's world governing body, the UCI, accepted the findings of the
United States Anti-Doping Agency's investigation.

Armstrong refused to co-operate with USADA, who earlier this month published
a 1,000-page report which concluded the Texan and his United States Postal
Service team ran 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping
programme that sport has ever seen'.

Shamed: Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his titles after the UCI endorsed the USADA sanctions

Shamed: Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his titles after the UCI endorsed the USADA sanctions

In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code, the UCI had 21 days to
respond, until October 31, and president Pat McQuaid today announced the world
governing body would accept USADA's findings and ratified the sanctions imposed
on Armstrong.

It means the Texan has been stripped of all results since August 1, 1998 and
banned for life.

At a media conference in Geneva, McQuaid said: '(The UCI) will not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and it will recognise the sanctions that USADA has imposed.

'The UCI will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling and the UCI will strip him of his seven Tour de France titles. Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.'

Endorsement: UCI chief Pat McQuaid confirmed the governing body accepted the Lance Armstrong sanctions

Endorsement: UCI chief Pat McQuaid confirmed the governing body accepted the Lance Armstrong sanctions

Eleven former team-mates of Armstrong testified against him to USADA, receiving six-month bans.

These suspensions were also ratified by the UCI, which thanked the riders for giving evidence against Armstrong.

McQuaid added: 'The UCI will also recognise the sanctions imposed on the riders who testified against Lance Armstrong; UCI indeed thanks them for telling their stories.'

Banned: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour titles by the USADA, but claims he was the victim of a 'witch hunt'

Banned: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour titles by the USADA, but claims he was the victim of a 'witch hunt'

The UCI, particularly the leadership of McQuaid and honorary president Hein Verbruggen, who was president at the time of Armstrong's record run of Tour success, have met criticism over the USADA investigation.

Allegations have been made against the UCI, which McQuaid dismissed.

'UCI has nothing to hide in responding to the USADA report,' he said. 'The UCI has called a special meeting of the UCI management committee next Friday to discuss this report and the measures which the UCI wishes to put in place in order that we are never faced with such a situation in the future.'

Not so magnificent seven: Armstrong's wins have been erased from the Tour de France record books

Not so magnificent seven: Armstrong's wins have been erased from the Tour de France record books

While addressing the past, McQuaid was steadfast in his belief that cycling has a positive future.

He added: 'This is a landmark day for cycling. Cycling has endured a lot of pain as it has absorbed the impact of the USADA report.

'UCI promised to prioritise our analysis of the report and to provide an early response and we've done that.

'My message to cycling, to our riders, to our sponsors and to our fans today is: cycling has a future.

Support: Cyclists gathered to listen to Armstrong's address at the start of the annual Team Livestrong Challenge in Austin on Sunday

Support: Cyclists gathered to listen to Armstrong's address at the start of the annual Team Livestrong Challenge in Austin on Sunday

'This is not the first time that cycling has reached a crossroads or that it has had to begin anew and to engage in the painful process of confronting its past.

'It will do so again with renewed vigour and purpose and its stakeholders and fans can be assured that it will find a new path forward.

'We're here to answer your questions and to say to the cycling community: UCI is listening and is on your side.

'We've come too far in the fight against doping to return to our past.

'Cycling has a future and something like this must never happen again.'

Armstrong always protested his innocence, but he has lost support from some of his major sponsors since USADA's report was made public.

Nike, Trek and Anheuser-Busch, brewers of Budweiser, all severed their ties with Armstrong, while fashion brand Oakley are reviewing their position in the wake of the doping scandal which has transcended sport.

Armstrong has also stepped down from his position as chairman of his cancer charity, Livestrong.

He made his first public appearance on Friday at the 15th anniversary celebration of the charity. He said to the 1,700-strong gathering: 'I am truly humbled by your support.

'It's been an interesting couple of weeks. It's been a difficult couple of weeks for me and my family, my friends and this foundation.

'I say, “I've been better, but I've also been worse”.'

EXCLUSIVE: Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan can fire England to T20 glory, says Paul Collingwood

EXCLUSIVE: Buttler and Morgan can fire England to World T20 glory, says Collingwood

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UPDATED:

22:41 GMT, 16 September 2012

England will set about defending their World Twenty20 crown this week with a timely endorsement ringing in their ears.

According to Paul Collingwood, the team that has arrived in Sri Lanka is better than the one he led to glory in the Caribbean more than two years ago.

It is some call. Kevin Pietersen, player of the tournament in 2010, has been ostracised.

Edge of glory: Jos Buttler can take England to World T20 victory according to Paul Collingwood

Edge of glory: Jos Buttler can take England to World T20 victory according to Paul Collingwood

The international career of Ryan Sidebottom, their joint-leading wickettaker in that competition, is finished.

And Mike Yardy, whose dart-like slow left-armers cost only 6.80 runs an over, is no longer part of the set-up after suffering from depression.

But Collingwood, who remains the only man to have captained England to a global trophy, is adamant that Stuart Broad's side – currently top of the world rankings – have got every chance of repeating the heist he engineered in the West Indies.

'The players involved last time round have improved by two years,' he told Sportsmail.

'Some of them have had experience in the Big Bash and the IPL and other high-pressure situations, and they understand the Twenty20 game a lot more. I honestly think it's a better team than it was last time. I think we've got a great chance.'

Central to England's hopes, Collingwood believes, will be Eoin Morgan, who now supplies the middle order X factor in Pietersen's absence, as well as Jos Buttler, suddenly feted as a match-winner after his extraordinary 10-ball 32 not out against South Africa at Edgbaston.

'Up until then everybody was questioning whether Buttler was good enough, but all of a sudden you've just won a game in 10 balls for England,' said Collingwood.

He's not bad either! Eoin Morgan has been in great form for England of late

He's not bad either! Eoin Morgan has been in great form for England of late

Ostracised: Kevin Pietersen was the player of the tournament when England won in 2010

Ostracised: Kevin Pietersen was the player of the tournament when England won in 2010

'That will give everyone a lot of confidence. And when you've got the quality of Eoin Morgan, these guys can do what KP did last time round – they can win not just games but World Cups.'

But would Collingwood, 36, who will represent Perth Scorchers at South Africa's Twenty20 Champions League next month, want Pietersen in his side if he were still captain

'I think people forget KP made the decision himself,' he said. 'Everyone is embroiled in what's gone on recently, but KP decided not to play Twenty20 a few months ago, so the planning for this was way back – before everything that's gone on in the Tests.'

England's success in 2010, when they overcame a sticky start to win successive matches against Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and, in the final, Australia, was in part the product of meticulous planning.

The team analyst Nathan Leamon worked out, for example, that bouncers were more effective in Twenty20 than yorkers – and Collingwood quickly worked out that slow bouncers in particular would best exploit the often windy conditions.

Good knock: Buttler hit 32 runs off 10 balls against South Africa

Good knock: Buttler hit 32 runs off 10 balls against South Africa

They also opted for Sidebottom ahead of Jimmy Anderson after Collingwood noticed the impact left-arm seamers had been having in the IPL.

And opener Michael Lumb was given free rein in the first six overs.

'If everyone in the team understands what their roles are, then if people make a mistake it's not frowned upon,' said Collingwood.

'They've got to make sure they get everyone in the right positions as early as they can.

'But Stuart's got a very sharp brain. He understands the good things we did last time, and I'm sure he'll take them into this tournament. He'll also have his own ideas about what to do. I'll be excited watching it.'

Paul Collingwood is ambassador for Clydesdale Bank's Howzat! campaign. To win 1000 for your cricket club visit: facebook.com/ClydesdaleBankCricket.

When and where

When and where

Arsenal in training with Thomas Vermaelen backing Olivier Giroud

Cheers skipper! Giroud has full backing of Arsenal squad, insists Vermaelen

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UPDATED:

13:01 GMT, 14 September 2012

Arsenal's season is on its head. The Gunners are yet to concede a goal in three tricky fixtures but up front they are far from their fluid best with new boy Olivier Giroud struggling to convince many of the fans he's worthy of replacing Robin van Persie.

And things turned ugly for the France striker when he was booed off for his country in their World Cup qualifier against Belarus on Tuesday.

All smiles: Olivier Giroud has been backed by the Arsenal captain to find the net for the club

All smiles: Olivier Giroud has been backed by the Arsenal captain to find the net for the club

Reasons to be cheerful: Arsenal have made a solid if unspectacular start to the season

Reasons to be cheerful: Arsenal have made a solid if unspectacular start to the season

Now, though, Giroud, who has missed two guilt-edged chances for Arsenal this season, is back at his new club with the ringing endorsement of his captain ringing in his ear.

Thomas Vermaelen has hailed the 12million man's impact and revealed there is little doubt among the players – with whom he trained on Friday – that Giroud will find some scoring form soon.

Speaking to the club website, the skipper said: 'I'm convinced Olivier will be off the mark soon. It’s not as if he has had an easy start – he didn’t get much time against Sunderland, and then played in two tough away games.

'He won a lot of duels in those matches, and it’s a vital quality when you’re away from home – if we don’t see a solution, we can sometimes play a longer ball to him in the knowledge that he works hard and is strong in the air.

'He's made some good runs and has been a bit unfortunate not to score so far, but he’s got into the positions so I’m not worried about him at all. The goals will come.'

Giroud certainly appears to be enjoying life away from the focus of 60,000 fans at Emirates Stadium, and was all smiles as he was put through his paces by Arsene Wenger ahead of Saturday's game against Southampton.

Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla – who both broke their club duck in the win over Liverpool – Theo Walcott and Laurent Koscielny were also in attendance, but Abou Diaby, who picked up an injury with France was being monitered.

Settling in: Arsene Wenger has been delighted with the impact of Santi Cazorla in midfield with Mikel Arteta

Settling in: Arsene Wenger has been delighted with the impact of Santi Cazorla in midfield with Mikel Arteta

Fighting fit: Both Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott can hope to start against Southampton

Fighting fit: Both Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott can hope to start against Southampton

Further back in the line-up Wenger has a selection headache after Wojciech Szczesny returned to fitness.

The Pole also trained after missing the last two games with a rib complaint, and he found himself striving to impress with Vito Mannone.

The Italian has impressed in keeping two clean sheets against Stoke and Liverpool and the manager admits the stopper has given him food for thought.

Wenger added: 'He has done really well. Vito was allowed to move at the start of the season, to play somewhere.

Hot stoppers: Wojciech Szczesny and Vito Mannone are vying for the No 1 spot at Arsenal

Hot stoppers: Wojciech Szczesny and Vito Mannone are vying for the No 1 spot at Arsenal

Hot stoppers: Wojciech Szczesny and Vito Mannone are vying for the No 1 spot at Arsenal

'Now he has been No 1 for two games and has at least moved into being a serious candidate to be fighting for the place. At the moment, Wojciech is but there is a fight there and it is interesting.

'We have three goalkeepers who have the talent to play in the Premier League and to fight for the No 1 place. That’s Wojciech, Fabianski and Mannone.

'Usually we keep two and let one go away to play, because they need to play. Now Vito has taken advantage of the fact that Fabianski and Wojciech were injured.'

Brendan Rodgers to build Liverpool around Lucas

Rodgers ready to build new-look Liverpool around returning Brazilian midfielder Lucas

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UPDATED:

12:08 GMT, 21 July 2012

Brendan Rodgers has given Lucas Leiva the ultimate endorsement as he explained why he is ready to build a team around the Brazilian midfielder.

Liverpool play their first match of pre-season on Saturday evening against FC Toronto here in Canada and, while the game will be special for Rodgers, it will be equally poignant for Lucas, who will be making his first appearance since rupturing his cruciate ligament last November.

Such injuries often mean nine months on the sidelines but Lucas has shown consummate professionalism and a relentless determination to shave eight weeks off his rehabilitation; he will figure at some point at the Rogers Centre, an iconic stadium in North American sport.

Welcome back: Lucas hasn't featured since rupturing his cruciate ligament in November

Welcome back: Lucas hasn't featured since rupturing his cruciate ligament in November

If impressing a new manager is one of a footballer's main task when there is a change of staff, Lucas has certainly delivered as Rodgers felt compelled to describe him as 'the ultimate professional' as he sat next to the 23-year-old in a press conference last night.

Some words are delivered for effect but Rodgers was not offering hollow platitudes when he was asked for his views on Lucas.

It was no surprise Liverpool's results dipped when he was out of the team last season and Rodgers is in no doubt how much the young man from Porto Alegre will offer.

'I have only been at the club a short period of time and when I arrived, people told me how special he was as a player and how special a character he is,' said Rodgers.

In the spotlight: The Brazilian midfielder will feature against FC Toronto on Saturday night

In the spotlight: The Brazilian midfielder will feature against FC Toronto on Saturday night

'But he is even better than that. When you meet him in real life, you see how hard he works.

'The injury he had should have kept him out for nine months but he is back two months early. You can only do that through two things – determination and hard work. He is the ultimate professional and he is going to be a brilliant player in my career here.

'I am just looking forward to seeing him back fully fit. But I know that every day he is fighting hard to get there. Not only is he a top footballer but he is a top guy as well. He is doing fantastic at this stage of his recuperation.'

Fan: Rodgers was quick to laud Lucas

Fan: Rodgers was quick to laud Lucas

To hear Rodgers speak so endearingly made it impossible not to think about the journey Lucas has been on. Not so long ago, he was a figure derided by the Kop, one who was booed during a game against Fulham.

It would have been easy to give in but, instead, he kept fighting. After winning the club's Young Player of the Year award in 2010, he was almost sold after Rafa Benitez was sacked but, again, he knuckled down to be name the club's Player of the Year in 2011 and last season he was playing the best football of his career before injury struck.

'It's been a long seven months for me in recovery, but I'm feeling well, better and recharged,' said Lucas, who could have expected to be part of Brazil's Olympic squad had he been fit.

'I'm getting my confidence back and pre-season will be an important step. I've missed wearing the Liverpool shirt.

'At the beginning, the time of the recovery was nine months but luckily I could come back a bit earlier by working with the physio and doctors, who helped me. I had a target in my head to be available for pre-season, and thankfully I'm available now. But it is still a new step every day.

'It's always difficult to compare managers because each one has their own principles – (Rodgers is the fourth manager Lucas has worked with at Anfield since May 2010) – and how they want to play. I enjoyed it under the previous managers and it will be same under Brendan.

'It is a different style and different principles, but it is the same target, to have a successful season and to enjoy how he wants to play. I'm not worried because I think I will get to the level I was before and I can't rush myself. I just want to improve every day.'

John Terry hopes FA Cup lands Roberto di Matteo Chelsea job

Win it for Roberto! Terry hopes FA Cup win can land Di Matteo full-time job

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UPDATED:

12:48 GMT, 4 May 2012

John Terry has urged his Chelsea team-mates to help Roberto Di Matteo land the manager's job full-time by winning Saturday's FA Cup final.

Blues captain Terry issued a ringing endorsement of caretaker boss Di Matteo ahead of the Wembley showpiece against Liverpool.

Stand by your man-ager: Terry trains on Friday as Di Matteo looks on

Stand by your man-ager: Terry trains on Friday as Di Matteo looks on

Clinching the FA Cup would boost Di Matteo's hopes of convincing Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to hand him the reins permanently, something that would have the full backing of former team-mate Terry.

'It would do him no harm at all,' Terry said.

'He's obviously done very well in the league and all competitions to get us where we are today.

Raring to go: Chelsea are looking for their first piece of silverware in two years

Raring to go: Chelsea are looking for their first piece of silverware in two years

Raring to go: Chelsea are looking for their first piece of silverware in two years

'To win it (the cup) will put himself in a very good position.

'He's not thinking of that at the moment, he's not letting the players get distracted by anything.

'He's very passionate, he's Chelsea through and through, and that's certainly rubbed off on the players.

'So, if we can do it with the added bonus that Robbie can get the job at the end, that'd be great.'

Old guard: Frank Lampard (left) and Terry should both start at Wembley

Old guard: Frank Lampard (left) and Terry should both start at Wembley

John Terry captaincy: Jeremy Hunt backs decision

Top cabinet minister Hunt backs FA decision to strip Terry of England captaincy

The Football Association have received the endorsement of a senior cabinet minister for stripping John Terry of the England captaincy.

Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, said: 'It's a matter for the FA but they have our full support and we are in agreement with everything they have done.'

Former England manager Graham Taylor was left staggered by Capello’s outburst on Italian television.

Stripped: Chelsea's John Terry lost the England captaincy for a second time

Stripped: Chelsea's John Terry lost the England captaincy for a second time

Backing the decision: Jeremy Hunt

Backing the decision: Jeremy Hunt

'It doesn’t help the situation at all, as England go into the European Championship,' Taylor told BBC Sport. 'I can't see what Capello's agenda is. All it does is disturb everything even more. It may be that he wants the FA to take a decision on this job. He has been a little bit unwise to come out as publicly as this.

'Whoever he makes as captain knows that he is not the manager’s choice. That in itself doesn’t help the dressing room.'

Former FA chief executive David Davies said: 'It is being taken very seriously by the FA because it may be that Fabio Capello has breached his contract.'

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor was also stunned by Capello's actions.

'The position had been made clear to Fabio Capello and you would expect that, if employers had made that decision for the bigger picture, he would have followed that,' he said.

'It's going to make it embarrassing for whoever is made England captain now the manager’s view has been made public. It’s a real stand-off, it’s not good and it’s not what we wanted before the European Championship.'

LONDON 2012: Paula Radcliffe plots her Olympic route

Radcliffe plots her route to London 2012 gold via Vienna

Olympic hope: Paula Radcliffe

Olympic hope: Paula Radcliffe

An endorsement from multi-world record holder Haile Gebrselassie has led Britain's Paula Radcliffe to choose Vienna for her big test before this year's Olympic marathon.

The Ethiopian set a men's course record at the OMV half-marathon there last year and sung the praises of a fast course to Radcliffe when they met at the Berlin marathon last autumn.

'Haile said, “You have to run this race”, and I do need a big test before the Games,' said Radcliffe, who will race there on April 15.

Gary Lough, her husband and manager, said Radcliffe will take part in other events before the Olympic marathon on August 5 but not another marathon.

She has spent the last four weeks at high altitude in Kenya training with a British squad including world champion Mo Farah.

After a week at the family home in Monaco she plans more high altitude training in New Mexico.