LONDON: Stuart Pearce will take caretaker charge of England for the friendly against Holland at Wembley on February 29 after Wednesday night’s shock resignation of Fabio Capello as manager writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Football Association chairman David Bernstein made that clear in a press conference to review events in the fall-out prompted by the storm which erupted over the John Terry captaincy issue.

Bernstein explained how the FA had been taken off balance by the decision of the West London court to delay Terry’s trial over a racist comment until mid-July.

He canvassed opinion of all members of the FA board then telephoned Capello last Thursday evening with the decision to strip Terry of the captaincy. Capello expressed his displeasure during that call and then raised the stakes with his incendiary interview to Italian state television at the weekend.

Capello met Bernstein and FA general secretary Alex Horne on Wednesday afternoon for an hour to discuss events. The meeting was adjourned for both sides to consider what had been discussed. An hour later Bernstein and Capello met again when the Italian offered his resignation which Bernstein accepted.

Bernstein said that Pearce, the under-21s’ manager, would take over as caretaker for the Holland game but that, as early as tomorrow, FA officials would start work on finding a permanent long-term successor to Capello. The FA chairman did not rule out the possibility of appointing another foreigner but said that an English or British manager “will have a good start.”

An intervention from Club England managing director Adrian Bevington may prove significant in revealing the FA’s thinking. Bevington talked of long-term challenges such as the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, suggesting that the FA may look seriously at a candidate who can fit effectively into the administrative system with a view to a long-term stay.