England manager apologizes to Rio Ferdinand

Updated: October 4, 2012

Rio Ferdinand learned that he was not going to be selected for England’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino against Poland after England manager Roy Hodgson made some loose comments to a fellow passenger on the Tube heading to Arsenal’s Champions League encounter with Olympiakos on Wednesday.

While on the London underground, Hodgson, also implied that Ferdinand’s international career could be over.

Hodgson has called up Stoke City centre half in place of the Manchester United defender.

Hodgson said: “I apologize to him (Ferdinand) and will apologize to him and 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 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.

“It is up to an individual player to decide if he doesn’t want to play anymore and when I speak to Rio I will make that very clear to him.

“But the bottom line is I am sticking to my guns. I am staying with the players I selected for the Euros and I am looking to the future.”

It was thought that Ferdinand might return to the England squad following Jon Terry’s retirement from the international scene during the sorry situation that was the Chelsea man’s racist abuse charge against Ferdinand’s brother Anton.

England Squad to play San Marino and Poland: Hart, Foster, Ruddy, Baines, Cahill, Cole, Gibbs, Jagielka, G Johnson, Lescott, Shawcross, Walker, Carrick, Cleverley, Gerrard, A Johnson, Lennon, Lampard, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Carroll, Defoe, Rooney, Welbeck.

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