Sol: I’d have captained England for 10 years if I were white

Mar 2, 2014

Campbell claims FA racism prevented him wearing the armband

Sol Campbell has made a bold intervention into the debate over racism in football, claiming that he would have been England captain “for more than 10 years” if he were white.

The 39-year-old former England defender makes the claim in an authorised biography. He says: "I believe if I was white, I would have been England captain for more than 10 years - it's as simple as that.”

Campbell, who captained the national side in three friendlies, adds: "I think the FA wished I was white. I had the credibility, performance-wise to be captain. I was consistently in the heart of the defence and I was a club captain early in my career." The FA, which is aware of his claims, has declined to comment.

The former Arsenal and Tottenham defender describes the situation as “crazy” and adds: “I don’t think it will change because [the FA] don’t want it to, and probably the majority of fans don’t want it either.”

Campbell’s argument, reported in the Sunday Times, has been backed by former FA chairman Lord Triesman. After leaving his post in 2011, Triesman said: “It is more likely if he was white that he would have captained England on more occasions . . . I think there is an assumption of a type of person who should captain England.”

Paul Ince became England’s first black captain when he wore the armband in a friendly against the United States in 1993, and Rio Ferdinand has skippered the national team on a number of occasions.

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