John Terry, Anton Ferdinand

John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy, sources close to the defender have told BBC Sport.

The 31-year-old Chelsea centre-back was informed of the decision by Football Association chairman David Bernstein in a phone call at 1000 GMT.

He is due to stand trial in July over racial abuse allegations after an incident with QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.

Terry, who lost the captaincy once previously, has entered a plea of not guilty to the charge.

Bernstein spoke to FA board members and the majority view was that Terry should be stood down.

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“The court case should have been dealt with immediately. As a result the FA have got themselves in an incredible tangle of him playing but not being captain”

Mark Perryman England supporters’ club chief

The chairman was also expected to consult England coach Fabio Capello about the issue on Friday.

Capello has until now maintained the position that Terry is innocent until proven guilty and that he should be free to select him as his captain until his trial is over.

There was some nervousness among board members as to how the Italian would react, with some fearing he will see it as undue interference in team affairs.

But there was an acceptance among the FA hierarchy that the matter should be taken out of his hands.

The FA has been forced to act after Terry’s case was adjourned until 9 July – a week after the Euro 2012 finals end – ensuring that the affair will dominate the build-up to the championships.

For some time now Bernstein has been growing increasingly concerned at the FA’s position on Terry.

Some board members have lobbied him to take decisive action to ensure the FA is not accused of being weak on racism.

Black players within the England squad have also been putting pressure on the Professional Footballers’ Association to take a stronger stance on Terry.

This is believed to have also played a part in forcing the FA to act.

England’s pre-Euro 2012 fixtures

29 Feb v Netherlands (h)

26 May v Norway (a)

2 June v Belgium (h)

Terry was previously stripped of the captaincy when Capello removed him from the role in February 2010  following allegations he had an affair with an England team-mate’s ex-girlfriend.

Terry was reinstated 13 months later with Capello saying “one year of punishment is enough”.

Former FA chief executive Mark Palios questioned why the FA had opted to change its stance on Terry, having kept him as captain since the allegations were first made in October.

He told BBC Radio 5 live: “What the FA has to do is a balancing act between the rights of the individual and the wider game. I don’t know how that will affect the dressing room and make it better than it was by keeping him in the squad but taking the captaincy off him.”

Mark Perryman, of the England supporters’ club, told 5 live it was difficult to understand why the case was taking 10 months to come to court.

“The court case should have been dealt with immediately,” he said. “As a result the FA have got themselves in an incredible tangle of him playing but not being captain.

“Mark Palios is right to question what has happened in the last 24 hours to make the FA act.”

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John Terry

Terry in action at the 2010 World Cup (UK users only)

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