Sol Campbell claims that he would have been England captain for "more than 10 years" if he were white.
The former Arsenal and Tottenham defender represented the Three Lions 73 times between 1996 and 2007 but was handed the armband on just three occasions, which the now-retired 39-year-old attributes to the colour of his skin.
In extracts from his new authorised biography, serialised in The Sunday Times, Campbell outlined his belief that the national team's governing body "didn't want me to have a voice".
"I believe if I was white, I would have been England captain for more than 10 years - it's as simple as that," he writes. "The FA wished I was white.
"I was consistently in the heart of the defence and I was a club captain early in my career.
"I don't think it will change because they don't want it to and probably the majority of fans don't want it either.
"It's alright to have black captains and mixed race in the Under-18s and Under-21s but not for the full national side - there is a ceiling and, although no-one has ever said it, I believe it's made of glass.
"The more caps I won, the farther away I seemed to be pushed from becoming captain," he noted, also criticising the choice of Michael Owen as skipper ahead of him. "The FA didn't want me to have a voice. I played well, acted honourably on and off the field, but there was little recognition.
"I don't fit the FA's image of an England captain. I'd done enough to be captain. I've asked myself many times why I wasn't. I keep coming up with the same answer: It was the colour of my skin."