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FA chief Barwick warning for England captain

Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick believes Fabio Capello's England captain must set an example with his behaviour on and off the pitch.

Capello is set to name his choice of captain next week when he announces his squad for his first game against Switzerland next month.

Current skipper John Terry admits he is unsure if he will keep the role having failed to speak to the Italian since his appointment as manager.

Barwick admits that himself and Trevor Brooking have been helping Capello on his decision over who will skipper England under the Italian.

"A new era has started with the arrival of Fabio Capello and one of the most important early decisions he will have to make will be to decide who is going to be his captain," Barwick told the News of the World.

"It will be his decision and his alone, but this is one of the things that Trevor Brooking and I have helped him with.

"There isn't that degree of importance laid at the door of captains of other countries, but Fabio is aware of the importance of this decision.

"Trevor and I have told him the captaincy, currently held by John Terry, is a very significant part of the English sporting and social fabric."

Barwick added that all England players must set a good example after a number of players found themselves in the headlines for the wrong reasons over the last 12 months.

"England players are special players. And that carries with it an extra weight of expectancy and responsibility," continued Barwick.

"If you are an England player, you are living out the dreams of thousands and thousands of kids and millions of people. And while you don't want that weight of moral expectation weighing too heavily on anybody's shoulders, it is part of your responsibility.

"They have to accept that, off the field, they are role models. And all players have a responsibility to behave on the pitch as model professionals. You have a responsibility when you sit in this chair to create some sort of legacy."

Barwick admitted he is hoping to stamp out players confronting referees and wants more respect shown by players to officials.

"One I would like to leave is footballers at every level respecting the officials more than they do," added Barwick.

"I'm not a fool. You can't change social habits overnight but I watch my boy play football every Sunday morning and sometimes I am thrilled to bits with what I hear and sometimes I'm appalled.

"At the national level today, we will be introducing a pilot scheme for Respect - a project that gives a code of conduct to parents and spectators. It means they have to stand five yards back from the pitch and only the captain can speak to a referee.

"We are not going to introduce anything mid-season but we have agreed that we will look at all elements of behaviour and respect in the professional game.

"Mobbing referees, for example, is unseemly and sets examples to children up and down the country.

"We've got a lot of work to do and we're not going to do it overnight but I am determined to lead from the front on it."

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Tribal Football Staff

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