Bridge turns back on England
Wayne Bridge has made himself unavailable for England as he feels his position in the squad is 'untenable and potentially divisive'.
By Rob Parrish
Last Updated: 03/03/10 8:28am
Wayne Bridge has made himself unavailable for selection by England as he feels his position in the squad is 'untenable and potentially divisive'.
Bridge has found himself unwittingly thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks following allegations of an affair between his ex-girlfriend and former Chelsea team-mate John Terry.
Terry was stripped of the England captaincy as a result of the lurid claims with Fabio Capello keen to maintain squad unity ahead of the World Cup finals.
Bridge was expected to play a key role for his country this summer with first-choice left-back Ashley Cole a major doubt for the tournament due to a fractured ankle.
Bridge and Terry will face each other for the first time since the allegations emerged when City travel to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday.
The duo were then expected to meet up again with the England squad as Capello's side tackle Egypt at Wembley in a friendly on Wednesday.
But the full-back has now announced in a statement released by his lawyers that he no longer wishes to be considered for selection.
The statement read: "I have thought long and hard about my position in the England football team in the light of the reporting and events over the last few weeks.
"It has always been an honour to play for England. However, after careful thought I believe my position in the squad is now untenable and potentially divisive.
"Sadly therefore I feel for the sake of the team and in order to avoid what will be inevitable distractions, I have decided not to put myself forward for selection.
"I have today informed the management of this decision. I wish the team all the very best in South Africa."
Attention will now turn to who will fill the left-back void for England, with Everton defender Leighton Baines and Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock the leading candidates.