Krakow, Poland – England manager Roy Hodgson has said he never considered handing Rio Ferdinand a Euro 2012 call-up as a late replacement when injuries took their toll on the squad.
“Rio Ferdinand never came into consideration. I had my squad of 23. I knew, in (Gary) Cahill's absence, who would probably be the starters and who would be the covering players,” Hodgson told British the media on Sunday.
“I wasn't going to bring in a player of Rio's age, class, background and experience to be a cover player.”
Ferdinand, who has been capped 81 times but has not played for his country in a year, was omitted from the 23-man squad selected by Hodgson last month.
Hodgson then ignored Ferdinand and called up Liverpool full-back Martin Kelly as Cahill's late replacement.
Hodgson had said there were “footballing reasons” for omitting Ferdinand. Fellow central defender John Terry, who is due in court on July 9 charged with racially abusing Ferdinand's younger brother Anton in October, was included in the squad.
Asked whether Terry's presence in the squad had any bearing on Ferdinand's non-selection, Hodgson added: “It wasn't part of my decision.” – Sapa-dpa