Hodgson: Rio may snub future call
Roy Hodgson has questioned whether Rio Ferdinand would accept a future England call-up following his Jubilee Line faux-pas. Hodgson has been forced to offer Ferdinand a public apology after the contents of an impromptu chat on the Tube, which occurred as the England coach made his way to last night's Champions League game at Arsenal, became public knowledge. In addition to leaving the Manchester United defender out of his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland this month, it was suggested Hodgson said Ferdinand's international career was over. Given John Terry has now retired, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are injured and Steven Caulker allowed to play for England Under-21s in their European Championship play-off with Serbia and Ferdinand's services are still not required, it is hard to see when Hodgson might need the 33-year-old. Yet the England boss insisted he is not turning his back on Ferdinand. Instead he wonders whether Ferdinand might do the job himself given how he has been treated. "I'm definitely not closing the door on Rio," said Hodgson. "But after what he might regard as an insult - even if it wasn't intended as such - he may turn his back on us. "He deserves an apology from me because I am disappointed with the way he found out he was being excluded." There is a certain naivety about Hodgson that means it is certainly plausible that he could get into a public chat and give away such information. But it is a lesson the 65-year-old will learn from very quickly. "All I remember was that I was talking to quite a lot of people on the Tube and one guy said 'is Rio in the next squad?'," he said. "I think I might have said 'I don't think so' and that is about as far as I went. "But I shouldn't say that of course and I only have myself to blame. "This is one of the hazards I suppose of travelling on Tube trains when you go up to London and then speaking to people who ask me questions rather than sitting there tight-lipped refusing to ever open my mouth. "I've paid for it and I will learn in future. "Maybe this will be a lesson for all the people who see me on the Tube in future: please don't be too offended if I refuse to answer any questions you ask me." The question of Ferdinand's selection had been raised again due to Terry declaring his position within England ranks had been made 'untenable' due to the FA pursuing him over the comments he made in an argument with the Manchester United man's brother Anton at Loftus Road in October last year. Hodgson has been left mildly embarrassed by Terry's stance given he stood by the Chelsea captain and kept selecting him despite the negative headlines that continued to attach themselves to the 31-year-old. The England boss had even gone so far as to say he would choose Terry even if the FA verdict went against him, as it subsequently did. Now the matter has been taken out of his hands. And it appears there will be no attempt at reconciliation. "What I've said about John Terry, I stand by every word," said Hodgson. "I regret his decision. He did a great job in the short time I worked with him, and played well for me. "But he's made his decision and it's irrevocable as far as I'm concerned. "I wish him well in his Chelsea career but it's a closed chapter." And, for once, Hodgson was taken at his word on the entire Terry-Ferdinand issue, which has dogged him for the length of his time in charge, with his every word on the subject being analysed for some kind of endorsement. "I endorse every campaign: the Respect campaign, the anti-racism campaign, the fair play campaign," he said. "My record as a football coach gives me a reasonably clean bill of health in those matters."
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