England manager Roy Hodgson has apologised to Rio Ferdinand after it was revealed that the coach confessed to a member of the public on a tube train that the Manchester United man would not be in the Three Lions squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The Red Devils’ star was being touted for a return to the international set-up after John Terry’s retirement, however it is believed the national selector told a passenger that Ferdinand would not be involved before the official squad was released.
Hodgson has apologised for the way in which he has handled the matter, and states that he has respect for Ferdinand.
“I apologise to Rio Ferdinand,” he admitted, published in Sky Sports.
“There is no way I would indicate that I would not use a player in this way. I have tried to get in touch with Rio today and I am disappointed that a stray conversation has been reported in that way.
I didn’t say Rio’s career was over. I might have admitted, foolishly I guess, and I only have myself to blame, that I wasn’t going to choose him in this squad.
“I am just disappointed this could be seen as a lack of respect to Rio which is something I would shy away from.
“I have the utmost respect for him, as a person and a player. It is not for me to call time on anyone’s career. I would never dream of calling time on anyone’s career,” he concluded.