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Europeans baffled by fuss over Terry’s private life

February 7, 2010

Michel Platini’s Gallic shrug said it all. “I’m not bothered. What do you want me to say?” he said.

The UEFA President and former France captain had just been asked for the third time in a few minutes on England coach Fabio Capello’s decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy because of something which happened off the field.

Platini was speaking in Warsaw at a news conference and was supposed to be talking about the qualifying draw for Euro 2012, an event which involved all 53 of UEFA’s associations.

Instead, he found himself fielding questions on the internal problems of one single member.

“We have 52 other associations in UEFA. Everybody has their own way of doing things…Poland, Ukraine, Austria, Norway, Malta, Cyprus. The problem of the English is not the problem of Italy, of France.

“You have some funny problems in England, but fortunately you have an Italian to sort them out.”

Platini’s indifference is a fair reflection of what Europeans feel on the whole Terry saga.

Players’ private lives are generally not subjected to media scrutiny elsewhere in Europe and it is the amount of publicity dedicated to the matter, rather than the alleged incident itself, which has made headlines on the continent.

In many countries, the captaincy is not even a big deal, just a symbolic role which involves a few pre-match niceties and bonus of lifting the trophy should the team happen to win a competition — not a very likely contingency in England’s case judging by their failure to add to their 1966 World Cup win.

PHOTO: UEFA President Michel Platini answers questions during a news conference at the Palace of Culture in Warsaw February 6, 2010. REUTERS/Peter Andrews

Comments

Very true Brian, particularly about captaincy only being such a big deal in England. In Italy, the skipper was generally just the oldest regular starter in the team. If he was missing it went to the next oldest. So when Maldini retired the armband went to Cannavaro – there was no discussion or debate.

It only seems to be England that considers the position to be on a par with government or the royal family.

And yet, despite having this bizarre obsession (one which I suspect has its roots in the education system with prefects etc) the English allow an Italian to run their team and to appoint as captain a player who served an eight month ban for breaking dope test rules.

Strange.

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