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Ferdinand stresses support for Euro team

04 Jun 2012 21:47:38

Ferdinand stresses support for Euro team

Rio Ferdinand has pledged his support to England's Euro 2012 campaign despite the controversy that has surrounded the Manchester United defender's continued absence from the squad.

Ferdinand's camp reacted furiously on Sunday night to the former England captain being overlooked following the enforced withdrawal of defender Gary Cahill, who suffered a fractured jaw during the Wembley defeat of Belgium. Rather than call Ferdinand, 33, into the squad, England boss Roy Hodgson selected inexperienced Liverpool defender Martin Kelly.

Jamie Moralee, Ferdinand's long-time friend and business partner, accused the new manager of "a total lack of respect", but the latter has now insisted he would be fully supportive of the team in Ukraine and Poland. He Tweeted: "Just so we dont get it twisted ere....i'll be in a pub somewhere supporting England this summer! Love the lads!"

For Hodgson, though, the issue will not just go away and he will face yet more questions at the first available opportunity after England arrive at their Krakow base on Wednesday.

On initially selecting the squad, the former Liverpool and West Brom boss dismissed Ferdinand's absence as being for "footballing reasons".

However, many felt there were concerns about Ferdinand's ability to get along with John Terry in light of Terry's impending court case for alleged racist remarks to Ferdinand's brother Anton at Loftus Road in October. Terry denies the charge against him.

Yesterday's decision to pick Kelly saw Ferdinand Tweeting "what footballing reasons???'' before Moralee's damning verdict.

"Lampard, Terry, Barry, Gerrard; all ageing but they go to the tournament,'' he said. "Why is Rio different? To treat a player that has captained and served his country 81 times [in this manner] is nothing short of disgraceful. [It's a] total lack of respect from Hodgson and the FA as far as I am concerned.''

On Friday, Hodgson had bemoaned the loss of 143 caps' worth of experience in Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry, who have both been ruled out through injury.

Now he finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having to explain how Ferdinand, with such vast experience, is being ignored on football grounds in favour of someone who made just 12 Premier League appearances for Liverpool this season.


PA

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