at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
London – Veteran defender Rio Ferdinand was the highest-profile casualty on Wednesday as England manager Roy Hodgson unveiled his squad for the European Championships.
After intense speculation about whether Hodgson would risk picking Ferdinand and Chelsea captain John Terry in the same squad, an announcement confirmed that it was the Manchester United centre-half who had been left out.
Terry had previously been tipped to miss out with Hodgson questioning whether the centre-half could exist happily in the same squad as Ferdinand, who has accumulated 81 caps since making his debut in 1997.
Terry is facing a July court case on allegations he racially abused Ferdinand's younger brother Anton during Chelsea's Premier League clash with Queens Park Rangers last October, accusations he strongly denies.
However Ferdinand's ability to withstand the rigours of a tournament campaign were called into doubt by his Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson last week, who questioned whether the defender could play two games in four days.
Other notable selections on Wednesday saw Arsenal teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain earn his first senior call-up after a promising first season with the Premier League giants.
Meanwhile Liverpool striker Andy Carroll's reward for a strong finish to the season is a place among the pool of four strikers picked by Hodgson.
With Wayne Rooney suspended for England's opening two Group D games, Carroll is now be a strong candidate to lead the attack in the Three Lions' opening game against France in Donetsk on June 11.
Rooney's Manchester United colleague Danny Welbeck and Tottenham's Jermain Defoe complete the line-up of forwards.
In midfield Hodgson has opted for an experienced pool of players with several veterans of England's ill-fated 2010 World Cup campaign in the frame, including Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, James Milner and Gareth Barry.
England squad for Euro 2012
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Man City), Rob Green (West Ham), John Ruddy (Norwich)
Defenders: Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man United), John Terry (Chelsea), Joleon Lescott (Man City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Leighton Baines (Everton)
Midfielders: Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Gareth Barry (Man City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Ashley Young (Man United), James Milner (Man City)
Forwards: Wayne Rooney (Man United), Danny Welbeck (Man United), Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham)
Standby: Jack Butland (Birmingham), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea). – Sapa-AFP