Wayne Bridge has caused chaos today for Fabio Capello and the England football team by in effect retiring from international football, saying that his position had become “untenable and potentially divisive” by the John Terry affair.
The Manchester City full-back announced in a statement released by his lawyers that he has declared himself unavailable for selection for England, a move that almost certainly rules him out of contention for the World Cup finals. Capello had stated on Tuesday that he firmly expected both players to resolve the matter for the sake of the national team.
In a statement, Bridge said:
“I have thought long and hard about my position in the England football team in the light of the reporting and events over the last few weeks. It has always been an honour to play for England. However, after careful thought I believe my position in the squad is now untenable and potentially divisive. Sadly therefore I feel for the sake of the team and in order to avoid what will be inevitable distractions, I have decided not to put myself forward for selection. I have today informed the management of this decision. I wish the team all the very best in South Africa.”
Although Bridge is not one of England’s most important players, the news is a big blow, especially given that Ashley Cole will struggle to be fit for the World Cup with his broken ankle.
What will be interesting is to see how the two players cope with being on the same pitch this Saturday in the Premier League game between Chelsea and Manchester City. Bridge is rumoured to be unwilling to shake Terry’s hand as part of the pre-match festivities and three of his team-mates having publicly displayed “Team Bridge” T-shirts during the 2-0 win over Portsmouth earlier this month, sparks could fly.
It’s a sad day when our national team is jeopardised by a lack of morality off the pitch by players who are key role models to young people.