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Rio Ferdinand omission a footballing decision

England manager Roy Hodgson has revealed that he left Rio Ferdinand out of his squad for Euro 2012 for footballing reasons, and not due to the inclusion of John Terry.

The Manchester United central defender was conspicuous by his absence from the 23-man party that will travel to Ukraine and Poland this summer, with the likes of Phil Jones in the squad instead.

Despite the fact that Terry is due to face trial in July for allegedly racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother Anton, Hodgson stated that this had no bearing on his decision-making process.

“It was purely a footballing decision,” he told Sky Sports.

“Rio is a man that I both respect as a player and as a person. I don’t know him well personally, but I have seen enough of him over the years to realise what a fine footballer he is and what a good person he is.

“But I had to make a footballing decision and to decide on the basis of what I have seen in recent months, and it was influenced to some extent by the fact that Rio hasn’t played so much since the World Cup and has only played once for England in the last year.

“On a footballing basis, I wanted people like Phil Jones in the squad because he helps balance out for me at right-back in the absence of Kyle Walker.

“So it’s purely a footballing decision and it was a hard phone call to make because you hate to disappoint people, but I hope Rio can accept my decision and understand that it was based purely on football and nothing else,” he concluded.

By Gareth McKnight

Article title: Rio Ferdinand omission a footballing decision

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