John Terry will face Fabio Capello on Friday in a meeting that will determine whether he remains England captain for this summer's World Cup
Terry's position within Capello's squad has been the subject of intense scrutiny since a gagging order that prevented details being reported of an alleged affair with the former girlfriend of Wayne Bridge was lifted last Friday.
None of the parties involved has made any public statement on the matter beyond the FA's declaration that Capello would have the final say.
Now back at work following major knee surgery which has required extensive rehabilitation at his home in Switzerland, Capello wants the matter sorting out ahead of Sunday's Euro 2012 draw in Warsaw.
So, after taking initial soundings from his trusted assistant Franco Baldini, who has already prepared the groundwork, Capello seems certain to meet Terry on Friday before deciding his next course of action.
A private dressing down may await the Chelsea skipper who has been hoping to lead England to World Cup glory in South Africa this summer.
But in their statement, the FA emphasised that Capello would reach his decision on "footballing grounds".
The only member of the England coaching team who has put his head above the parapet so far, Stuart Pearce, used the phrase "witch-hunt" and appeared to link it with the situation Terry currently finds himself in.
If Capello comes to the same conclusion, Terry will remain in his post.
Should he feel there is substance to the claim that being captain of England brings with it a greater obligation as a role model, the 29-year-old is in trouble if he admits the allegations involving him are true.
Bridge's position will also be taken into account.
The 29-year-old Manchester City left-back, who is due to make his comeback after a long-standing knee injury at Hull on Saturday, could quite easily tell Capello he has no wish to be in the same squad as Terry.
On pure ability and importance to the England squad, any decision about who to take would be a no-brainer.
However, that would leave Bridge out in the cold, and under the circumstances that hardly seems fair.
A sub-plot that has gone unnoticed is that City visit Chelsea on February 27, five days before England's next international against African Nations Cup winners Egypt and 24 hours before Capello names his squad.
In fairness, these are the decisions Capello is paid £6million per year to make. He alone will have to justify whatever he decides, with dissenting voices certain no matter what his call.
But, if there is one thing that the past two years have taught us, Capello is his own man. If he thinks something is right, he will not shy away from it.
This, after all, is the man who told David Beckham to train with the kids at Real Madrid and was then brave enough to welcome the midfielder back to the fold when he saw how professional the response has been.
Capello will not listen to the clarion calls for Terry's head. He will not listen to those who demand Terry must stay.
But he will listen to Baldini, who is thought to have taken soundings from other members of the squad, plus Bridge's club boss Roberto Mancini. He has already spoken to FA chairman Lord Triesman and chief executive Ian Watmore.
On Friday he will listen to Terry. Then he will deliver his judgement. The biggest tournament of his career might hinge on the outcome.