'If I was white I would have captained England for 10 years'

London, March 2 (IANS): Arsenal legend Sol Campbell feels that he would have captained the English football team for 10 years had he been white.

Campbell, who has played 73 internationals for England, feels that the Football Association (FA) and the majority of English football fans do not want a black England captain.

"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," the 39-year-old Campbell was quoted as saying in a new authorised biography serialised in the Sunday Times.

Campbell said the FA was well aware of his leadership abilities but wished he was white.

"I believe if I was white, I would have been England captain for more than 10 years - it's as simple as that. I think the FA wished I was white. I had the credibility, performance-wise, to be captain. I was consistently in the heart of the defence and I was a club captain early in my career.

"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.

"It's alright to have black captains and mixed race in the under-18s and under-21s but not for the full national side. There is a ceiling and although no one has ever said it, I believe it's made of glass."

Campbell, who captained England only thrice in friendlies, said it was "embarrassing" to have forward Michael Owen as the skipper ahead of him.

"I think the FA didn't want me to have a voice. Owen was a fantastic forward but nowhere near being a captain. It was embarrassing. I've asked myself many times why I wasn't. I keep coming up with the same answer. It was the colour of my skin," he said.


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