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Hodgson botches Cole 'captaincy' announcement

ESPN staff
May 28, 2013

Ashley Cole will captain England against Ireland as he collects his 100th international cap on Wednesday - but will not undertake any captaincy duties, either on or off the pitch.

England manager Roy Hodgson initially confirmed that Cole will lead the team out at Wembley, but Frank Lampard - standing in for the sidelined Steven Gerrard - would be the captain on the night.

But, after adding that Cole would be wearing the armband, Hodgson was later forced to clarify that Cole will indeed be captain - but Lampard will fulfill the captain's responsibilities on the pitch.

"Frank's happy for Ashley to lead the team onto the field in celebration of his 100th cap," Hodgson said. "Frank and I are happy that he will lead the team out, but Frank will captain the team."

Hodgson was forced to clarify and re-clarify the captaincy issue as he addressed the press alongside Lampard.

"After speaking to Frank and sounding out the other members of the squad, everyone was behind Ashley in this matter," he said. "We've talked about his reluctance to stand in front of the mass media and play the captain's role - we understand that and accept that.

"But everybody thought it would be good, having received the cap in front of his home crowd at Wembley, it would be nice if he put the armband on and led the team out, and Frank was more than happy to pass over that honour."

Lampard, the England vice-captain, said the honour was a fitting tribute to Cole's status as one of England's most consistent performers.

"I think the way he's performed in getting those 100 caps as the most consistent left-back in world football over such a long time, it's the perfect gesture and very much deserved," he said.

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