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Frank is still key, says Fabio

Fabio Capello has insisted Frank Lampard remains a key member of his England squad, despite dropping him for the victory over Bulgaria.

The Italian named the midfielder on the substitutes’ bench in Sofia.

But Capello said Lampard, 33, remains a “really important player” and could feature against Wales today.

He also stated that the Bulgaria fans responsible for alleged racist chants must be identified, and asked England supporters not to boo the Welsh anthem.

England players wore anti-racism wristbands in training after the abuse in Bulgaria.

Capello said: “The racism is a terrible thing. I am against [it] absolutely. I didn’t hear in Bulgaria what happened because I was focused on the game. But we need to find the racists.

And he warned England fans: “I remember in Cardiff I didn’t like the boos or the shouts against the other country, because for me as a manager and as a player it’s a really important moment, because you wear the shirt at your heart at this moment.

“We need to fight against racism. It’s a really high moment, a spiritual moment. You need to respect the other country.”

Chelsea midfielder Lampard’s omission was the first time he had been left out of an England starting line-up when fit and available for a competitive game since the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

Capello said: “Frank Lampard is a really important player, like others that are here.”


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