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Five controversies that rocked English soccer

27 September 2016, 20:01

London - With England manager Sam Allardyce fighting to save his job after being caught in a newspaper sting, AFP Sport looks at five famous controversies involving players and coaches from the English national team:

Hoddle's "sins in a previous life"

Glenn Hoddle lost his job as England manager in 1999 after making a series of controversial comments about disabled people in a newspaper interview.

"You and I have been physically given two hands and two legs and half-decent brains," Hoddle was quoted as saying.

"Some people have not been born like that for a reason. The karma is working from another lifetime. What you sow, you have to reap."

Former Tottenham star Hoddle, who coached England at the 1998 World Cup, said his comments had been misinterpreted, but he was sacked by the FA despite eventually apologising for a "serious error of judgment".

Sven and the Fake Sheikh

England boss Sven Goran Eriksson clung onto his job in 2006 after being caught in a newspaper sting similar to the one now haunting Allardyce.

Eriksson was on an FA-sanctioned trip to Dubai when he was contacted by an undercover reporter posing as a sheikh who said he wanted to discuss a coaching job at a new football academy in the region.

The suave Swede was said to have told the reporter he would be willing to leave the England position to manage Aston Villa if the club was taken over, that England striker Michael Owen was not happy at Newcastle and that he would like to be paid as much as then Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

Eriksson's agent called the article "disgraceful entrapment" and the Swede survived to take charge at the 2006 World Cup before finally leaving the post after the tournament.

El Tel probed

Terry Venables, the England manager who masterminded his team's run to the Euro 96 semi-finals, found himself embroiled in a battle to clear his name after being linked with a series of dubious deals.

Soon after being hired in 1994, Venables was told a Metropolitan and City company fraud office investigation into allegations he paid a £50,000 "bung" to then Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough to facilitate a transfer when he was in charge at Tottenham had been dropped.

He also issued a libel writ against the BBC after a Panorama documentary alleged he unlawfully raised a £1 million loan to help fund an ownership share in Tottenham on the strength of the assets of a company from which he had already resigned as a director.

Venables decided to leave the England post at the end of Euro 96 after the FA refused to grant him a contract extension leading up to the tournament.

The Bogota bracelet

England skipper Bobby Moore was accused of stealing a £600 emerald bracelet from a shop in Colombia before the 1970 World Cup.

Moore, who captained England to World Cup victory in 1966, was placed under house arrest in Bogota for three days before being released to play at the tournament in Mexico.

The bizarre scandal happened after Moore went shopping with Bobby Charlton to find a present for his England team-mate's wife.

The store owner called the police after the two men had left the shop and one witness said he had seen the bracelet in Moore's pocket.

But Moore was eventually cleared and it was claimed he had been the victim of a set-up to blackmail him and get publicity for the jewellery shop.

Terry in racism storm

John Terry was stripped of the England captaincy and responded by retiring from international football after the FA charged the Chelsea star had racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

Terry admitted using the word "black" and swearing at Ferdinand but insisted he had only been repeating words he thought the defender had accused him of saying.

He was cleared in court of racially abusing Ferdinand, but the FA found the centre-back guilty and handed him a four-match ban and a £220,000 fine.

The incident had wider implications as England manager Fabio Capello resigned in protest at the FA's decision to take the armband from Terry without his approval.



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