Sol Campbell's England racism claims rejected

Former England stars Ian Wright and Stuart Pearce have disputed their former international team-mate Sol Campbell's claim he would captained the national team for "more than 10 years" if he had been white.

Wright and Pearce dismiss Campbell's England claims

Ian Wright said there were "better candidates" than Sol Campbell to captain England during their playing days. Credit: Chris Turvey/EMPICS Sport

Former England stars Ian Wright and Stuart Pearce have disputed their former international team-mate Sol Campbell's claim he would captained the national team for "more than 10 years" if he had been white.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live's 606 show, Wright said: "Sol was more than good enough to be a captain but I personally believe there were better candidates at the time."

Pearce said the comments were "very unusual" but added "it's obviously something Sol believes".

The former defender, though, totally rejected Campbell's claim that the FA was "institutionally racist" in its choice of captains for the Three Lions.

"I wouldn’t believe for one moment he was ever denied the captaincy of England because of the colour of his skin," Pearce told talkSPORT.

"I find that incredible. Paul Ince was captain of England and that didn’t hold him back in any way, shape or form."

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Eriksson rejects Campbell's England race claims

Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has emphatically denied Sol Campbell's claim in his autobiography that he was denied the national team captaincy because of his race.

Sven-Goran Eriksson selected Sol Campbell 32 times during his five-year reign with England. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Archive

The retired centre-back, who played 73 times for the Three Lions, said he would have been skipper for "more than 10 years" had he been white, while claiming the FA is "institutionally racist", in passages serialised by The Sunday Times.

Eriksson told The Daily Telegraph there was "not a chance" of Campbell gaining the armband, but only because David Beckham was his fixed choice.

The Swede said there were "never ever any discussions at all in the team or in the FA" about Campbell replacing Beckham as captain during his tenure.

Read: Campbell labels FA 'institutionally racist' in new book

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Sol Campbell calls FA 'institutionally racist' in new book

Former Arsenal star Sol Campbell has attacked the Football Association as "institutionally racist", claiming he would have received the England captaincy for more than 10 years had he been white.

Sol Campbell calls Football Association 'institutionally racist' in new book. Credit: PA

In extracts from his new biography, serialised in the Sunday Times (£), the former Arsenal and Tottenham defender said: “I think the FA wished I was white. I had the credibility, performance-wise, to be captain.

"I don’t think it will change because they don’t want it to, and probably the majority of fans don’t want it, either [...] There is a ceiling and although no one has ever said it, I believe it’s made of glass.

"Michael Owen was made a captain ahead of me. I thought: 'What is going on here?' I think the FA didn't want me to have a voice [...] it was embarrassing. I've asked myself many times why I wasn't [captain]. I keep coming up with the same answer. It was the colour of my skin."