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Ex-footballer Sol Campbell considers joining Conservatives

Sol Campbell (right) with former England team-mate Alan Shearer. Credit: PA

Former England defender Sol Campbell is considering joining the Conservative Party and claims he can help secure “the black vote”.

Speaking at the launch of his new biography at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Thursday, Campbell said: “[Let’s have] a conversation just to see where they want to go with things. I think something has got to be offered for me to really think about it.

“I have got so much to offer. I think it is very important for the black vote. If the ‘black vote’ votes it will clearly push someone over the line. I am for getting people from my background to vote.”

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Sol: Could have 'easily' captained England more times

Former England and Arsenal defender Sol Campbell told Daybreak he could have "easily" captained his country more than three times during his career.

The retired centre-back played 73 times for the Three Lions and said in his new biography he would have been skipper for "more than 10 years" if he had been white.

He also claimed the FA was "institutionally racist", an accusation that was strenuously denied by former England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce who said he did not believe skin colour would stop a player becoming captain.

The FA declined to comment on Campbell's comments.

Campbell told Daybreak: "Over the 10 years I could've easily captained more than three times, with the ability I had."

The retired footballer also said he wishes he could "help" his former team Arsenal, who have hit a spell of bad form in the league, and admitted that he keeps fit by doing spinning classes.

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."

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.

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."

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England footballers 'wait and see' on Euro racism row

Two of England's footballers say they want to find out for themselves the situation in Poland and Ukraine after allegations of racism there.

It follows warnings from former England international Sol Campbell for fans not to travel to Euro 2012 due to the threat of violence and racist behaviour.

Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka said they would stand by their team-mates if they were racially abused, but would leave other decisions to officials and management.

Sol Campbell tells England fans to avoid Euro 2012

Former defender Sol Campbell has warned England fans to avoid Euro 2012 because of the threat of racism and violence.

Sol Campbell has warned fans travelling to Ukraine and Poland this summer. Credit: Steve Drew/EMPICS Sport

He said that Uefa was wrong to choose Poland and Ukraine to host the tournament as it put supporters in danger.

The ex-Arsenal player told BBC Panorama: "Stay at home, watch it on TV. Don't even risk it... because you could end up coming back in a coffin."

Sol Campbell hangs up his boots

The former England captain Sol Campbell has announced his retirement after two decades in the game.

Sol Campbell goes in for the tackle against Bristol City's Nicky Maynard Credit: REUTERS/Stephen Hird

The 37-year-old defender made his debut at Tottenham Hotspur in 1992 when he scored after being brought on as a substitute. He went on to play for Arsenal, Portsmouth, Notts County, Celtic and Newcastle United.

He is the second youngest player ever to become an England captain.