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Terry's England future in doubt after alleged affair with Bridge's ex


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • John Terry's role as England soccer captain in jeopardy due to his alleged marital infidelity
  • UK government minister says Terry may be stripped of role if tabloid claims are true
  • Terry failed in court injunction to stop reporting of affair with teammate's ex-partner
  • The 29-year-old has two children with his wife and won a parenting award in 2009
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(CNN) -- Soccer star John Terry's role as captain of England's national team is in jeopardy following tabloid accusations of his marital infidelity, according to a British government minister.

Terry is alleged to have had an affair with the ex-partner of his former Chelsea teammate Wayne Bridge, having failed in a high court bid to prevent newspapers publishing details of his liaison with Vanessa Perroncel.

The 29-year-old has two children with his wife Toni, whom he married in June 2007, and was named "2009 Dad of the Year" by a British sauce maker. He reportedly earns more than $200,000 a week.

French actress and model Perroncel had a child with Terry's fellow England defender Bridge in 2006. The pair have since separated but Bridge, who is now at English club Manchester City, said on Saturday that he would not be commenting for the sake of their son.

Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said he would contact the English Football Association about the matter, the UK Press Association reported.

"On the field John Terry is a fantastic player and a good England captain, but to be the captain of England you have got to have wider responsibilities for the country," Sutcliffe said.

"And clearly if these allegations are proven -- and at the moment they are only allegations -- then it does call into question his role as England captain.

"I speak to the FA on a regular basis, so I will be asking what their viewpoint is and we will see what comes of it."

Perroncel has enlisted the services of noted celebrity publicist Max Clifford, PA reported, and he said she told him that some of the allegations were true.

"She has never spoken to a single journalist and she's all over all the papers with all kinds of allegations, some of which she said were true and some of which she said aren't true," Clifford told the GMTV television program.

"All I'm prepared to say is that she's known John a long time, and obviously I think during that time they've become very close friends, but anything more than that, I wouldn't want to say at this particular stage. It's really for her to decide what she wants to do."

While Terry's alleged infidelity may not have the global impact as that of golf superstar Tiger Woods, it could cause big problems for England ahead of June's World Cup finals in South Africa.

Bridge, who is sidelined with injury, is not guaranteed to be part of the squad but has represented his country 36 times and is the regular back-up at left-back for Chelsea's Ashley Cole.

England coach Fabio Capello is out of the UK following a knee operation, but is expected to make a decision on Terry's future before the friendly international against African Nations Cup winners Egypt on March 3, PA reported.

The FA has released a statement saying that Capello, known to be a strict disciplinarian, "alone will make the decision about John Terry's position."

"Fabio is fully up to speed with developments regarding John Terry. He spoke with our chairman Lord Triesman and chief executive Ian Watmore today, who both backed him to make the best decision for England on footballing grounds," the FA said on its Web site on Monday evening.

"Fabio is dealing with the matter in his own way using his extensive experience as a football manager."

Terry was first named captain of England after the 2006 World Cup when Steve McClaren took over as manager from Sven Goran Eriksson, and retained the armband when Capello was appointed in 2008.

It is not the first time that Terry has been the subject of controversy.

Last year he was accused by a tabloid paper of accepting money to show fans around Chelsea's training ground, and in 2002 he was cleared by a court after being charged with assault and affray following an incident with a nightclub bouncer.