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There are few things more comical than the sight of the English tabloid media in full moralistic hue and cry – but if the News of the World gets it’s way and forces the resignation of England football captain John Terry, there’s a real danger the country will be unable to field anything more than a five a side team in this year’s World Cup Finals.

Let’s be clear. John Terry is not the kind of bloke you’d invite to a dinner party – not if you wanted to be sure he wasn’t eyeing up your missus anyway.

But the man is a footballer, not a priest or a moralizing politician, and in cheating on his wife, he’s behaving no worse than many other people in this sex-obsessed society.

That’s not to condone his behaviour – but sacking a footballer on account of his loose morals would be akin to removing a Pope on account of his Catholicism.

The FA – home of Svengate and the Faria Alam scandal – is certainly in no position to lecture Terry; and there are few obvious contenders to replace him as skipper who could be considered squeaky clean.

Wayne Rooney was the subject of a similar tabloid “shaming” a few years back; likewise Frank Lampard; Rio Ferdinand was suspended after missing a drugs test; while Ashley Cole was recently banned from driving after traveling at more than twice the 50mph maximum.

There are, of course, practical issues for Fabio Capello to address – not least whether he could accommodate Terry and Wayne Bridge (ex-paramour of Terry’s mistress) in the same team. Then there’s the question of whether the captain’s team-mates will continue to support him.

But these are matters for the manager to decide – not tabloid hacks whose own behaviour would often bear little scrutiny.

Whatever the hypocritical media may say, we can only expect their our footballer’s shirts to be Persil-white, not their private lives.



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