City defender Wayne Bridge has ruled himself out of England duty, suggesting the revelation of his former partner's affair with team-mate John Terry would make his position in the squad "untenable and potentially divisive".
AFP - Manchester City defender Wayne Bridge has turned his back on England after deciding the fall-out from John Terry's alleged affair with his ex-girlfriend has made his position in the team untenable.
Bridge released a statement through his lawyers on Thursday confirming that he did not wish to be selected for Fabio Capello's squad for this year's World Cup in South Africa because his presence would be potentially "divisive".
The former Chelsea left-back has been considering his international future since reports of Terry's affair with his former partner Vanessa Perroncel, a French underwear model with whom he has a four-year-old child, first came to light.
Terry was stripped of the England captaincy by Capello as a result of the scandal and the Italian had thought Bridge would continue to play for his country.
With first choice left-back Ashley Cole out with an injury, Bridge would have lined up alongside Terry in the England defence in Wednesday's friendly against Egypt at Wembley.
But the 29-year-old, who is due to face Terry for the first time in City's clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, feels that is an impossible situation for him to contemplate.
It had also been claimed Bridge still feels so hurt by Terry that he may not even shake hands with the Chelsea captain during the pre-match pleasantries this weekend.
"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," Bridge said in his statement.
"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."
Although Bridge has not formally announced his retirement from international football, it seems that he would not consider coming out of his self-imposed exile unless Terry is no longer involved in England action.
Terry, who has looked distracted during recent error-strewn displays for Chelsea, will now have to play with the extra burden of knowing his actions have resulted in someone he used to class as a close friend missing the World Cup.
With Cole sidelined for three months due to an ankle injury, Bridge's decision leaves Capello without both his first-choice left-backs and he will now turn to Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock or Manchester City's Joleon Lescott instead.
Warnock, 28, was named in Capello's squad for the recent friendly defeat to Brazil but his only international experience amounts to six minutes as a substitute against Trinidad and Tobago in June 2008.
Capello is already without Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand, who has a back problem, and Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson, sidelined with a knee injury.
Date created : 2010-02-25