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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."

Stuart Pearce to leave England U-21 post

Stuart Pearce has today been informed by the Football Association he will not be kept on as England Under-21s manager.

He was appointed to the post in 2007 and led the Young Lions to four successive European Championship finals.

However, Pearce's side failed to get a point at this summer's tournament in Israel and will now leave the role when his contract expires at the end of the month.

"I'd like to thank Stuart Pearce for his hard work," FA chairman David Bernstein said.

"Nobody can doubt his commitment to the job throughout his time as U21 coach."