Diego Maradona says England always wanted to dump Fabio Capello.

The Argentina legend alleged that the FA had been seeking to sack Capello for a long time and used the row over Chelsea defender John Terry's England captaincy as a convenient pretext to do so.

"As far as the situation with Capello is concerned, what we heard initially was about Terry," said Maradona, now managing Dubai-based club Al-Wasl.

"This is what the English FA was saying. But of course, this is not the real reason. It is clear the FA was looking to fire him. They wanted an excuse to do that.

"They weren't happy with his performance. Any coach who doesn't perform at the level expected, especially at the World Cup, is one whom they immediately look to replace."