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FA defends Pearce as racism issues resurface

ESPN staff
February 10, 2012
Stuart Pearce will take charge of England for the friendly against Netherlands on February 29 © Getty Images

The Football Association has been forced to defend the appointment of Stuart Pearce as England caretaker manager following the departure of Fabio Capello.

Pearce was allegedly involved in a racist incident featuring England team-mate Paul Ince in 1994, and his brother, Dennis Pearce, is an active member of the British National Party.

Capello resigned on Wednesday in the wake of the FA's decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy, with the Chelsea defender due to stand trial in July charged with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.

Pearce, the current Under-21 manager, will take temporary charge of the side for the Three Lions' friendly against Netherlands on February 29. However, Club England managing director Adrian Bevington was forced to defend the former England left-back, who was accused of racially abusing Ince during an incident in 1994.

Pearce apologised for allegedly calling Ince "an arrogant black ****" during a Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Manchester United, and has repeatedly distanced himself from his brother's political beliefs.

"It's a matter for Stuart Pearce's brother rather than Stuart," Bevington said. "Stuart as an individual has made it clear that he is not involved in his brother's political beliefs, in the same way as I'm sure that everybody who has siblings does not always share their political stance.

"Stuart has made that point before. I don't think we can get to the realms of being judgmental on someone because of what their brother's views may be."

FA chairman David Bernstein suggested Pearce, who is in charge of Britain's Olympic team for the London 2012 Olympics, could be a candidate for the job on a permanent basis.

"We have got a match at the end of February and we needed a short-term, quick answer," Bernstein said. "We have a team of good football people within the FA set-up and Stuart is one of them. He is a first-class option for this match. We have an open mind beyond that."

Pearce condemned his brother's views in 2009 before his brother stood as a BNP candidate in the European elections. "My brother's political views are his own and are not in any way reflected in my own views," he said.

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