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Thursday 14 December 2017

Ferdinand camp lash Hodgson over 'disgraceful' snub

New England boss Roy Hodgson stands accused of treating Rio Ferdinand with a "lack of respect" by the Manchester United defender's representative.

Ferdinand's absence from Euro 2012 threatened to linger well into the tournament, even before Hodgson was informed Gary Cahill would miss out after suffering a fractured jaw in two places during Saturday's Wembley defeat of Belgium.

Many felt there were concerns about Ferdinand's ability to get along with John Terry, in light of Terry's impending court case for alleged racist remarks to Ferdinand's brother Anton at Loftus Road in October. Terry denies the charge against him.

Hodgson dismissed Ferdinand's absence as being for "footballing reasons".

But Hodgson's decision to select 22-year-old Liverpool defender Martin Kelly as Cahill's replacement proved too much for the Ferdinand camp.

"Lampard, Terry, Barry, Gerrard; all ageing but they go to the tournament," said Jamie Moralee, Ferdinand's long-time friend and business partner.

Different

"Why is Rio different? To treat a player that has captained and served his country 81 times (in this manner) is nothing short of disgraceful.

"(It's a) total lack of respect from Hodgson and the FA as far as I am concerned."

On Friday, Hodgson had bemoaned the loss of 143 caps' worth of experience in Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry, who have both been ruled out through injury in the past week.

Now he finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having to explain how Ferdinand, with such vast experience, is being ignored on football grounds in favour of someone who made just 12 Premier League appearances for Liverpool this season.

Question marks over Ferdinand's fitness were raised by Alex Ferguson towards the end of the season.

However, Ferdinand could argue that he started Manchester United's last 16 Premier League games.

It means Hodgson, who has previously expressed his discomfort over the extended discussion about Ferdinand's absence, will face yet more questions at the first available opportunity after England arrive at their Krakow base on Wednesday.

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