England armband in tangle before friendly

The notion of Ashley Cole celebrating his 100th England cap on an occasion when he will in fact be making his 102nd appearance was confusing enough before manager Roy Hodgson's riddle over the captain's armband on Tuesday.

Hodgson had initially announced a complex arrangement whereby Cole would lead his team out for Wednesday's friendly against Ireland at Wembley but that Frank Lampard would skipper the side in usual captain Steven Gerrard's absence.

"Frank's happy for Ashley to lead the team on to the field in celebration of his 100th cap which he will receive tomorrow, although it's actually his 102nd appearance," Hodgson told a news conference.

"Frank still remains the captain of the team though so I'm afraid that's a bit more complicated than maybe you would like it to be but that's the way it is."

Local media reported Hodgson had later clarified his comments to say that Cole, who will be presented with his 100th cap on Wednesday after reaching the milestone in February, would in fact captain the side for the match.

After Wednesday's game, England travel to Brazil for another friendly on Sunday.


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