Roy Hodgson has finally revealed the "football reasons" behind Rio Ferdinand's England snub.
Hodgson claimed he had overlooked Ferdinand because it would have been wrong to have him in his European Championship squad and not in the starting XI.
"Rio Ferdinand for me is not a player that you call up as a substitute, or to cover for the players that you have," the England manager told ITV.
"We turned to Martin Kelly because I knew he was going to be someone who would be very useful to us.
"He's very happy to be here knowing that his chances of playing a big part in the tournament are quite small. You don't turn to people like Rio Ferdinand for that."
The backlash against Ferdinand's omission has threatened to overshadow England's Euro 2012 campaign, which they begin on Monday.
Hodgson insisted when naming his original squad that the 33-year-old was left out for "football reasons".
But his refusal to go into detail about those reasons fuelled speculation Ferdinand was actually overlooked due to the potential for disharmony between the Manchester United defender and John Terry.
Terry is due to stand trial on July 9 charged with racially abusing Ferdinand's younger brother Anton, something the Chelsea captain denies.
Hodgson was adamant that had no bearing on his decision but when he ignored Ferdinand again after calling up rookie defender Kelly for the injured Gary Cahill, the conspiracy theory really took hold.