Campbell in race claims over England captaincy

Former England defender Sol Campbell has claimed that had he been white, he would have captained his country for over 10 years, the Guardian has reported.

Campbell was capped 73 times by England between 1996 and 2007, but was only named skipper on three occasions. Instead, the captain’s armband was handed to the likes of Tony Adams, Alan Shearer, David Beckham and John Terry, and Campbell believes that race was a factor.

In an extract of his new biography, he says: “I believe if I was white I would’ve been England captain for more than 10 years,” Campbell writes. “It’s as simple as that. 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 on my career.

“I don’t think [the attitude] will change because they don’t want it to, and probably the majority of them don’t want it, either. It’s all right to have black captains and mixed-race in the under-18s and under-21s, but not for the full national side. There is a ceiling and although no one has ever said it, I believe it’s made of glass.”

Campbell, who played domestically for Tottenham, Arsenal, Portsmouth, Notts County and Newcastle United, also called on the FA to ensure that more people of ethnic minority are involved in English football hierarchy, adding: “It’s got to start changing because when you look behind the scenes, it’s just not representing English football.”

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