Ferdinand backs England despite latest snub
LONDON, June 4, 2012 (AFP) - Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand insists he will support England's Euro 2012 challenge despite suffering another snub from Roy Hodgson.
Ferdinand reacted angrily on Sunday when he learned he had been over-looked again by England manager Hodgson, who called up Liverpool's inexperienced Martin Kelly instead of the United centre-back after Gary Cahill was forced to withdraw from the squad with a fractured jaw.
Hodgson claims he left Ferdinand out of his original Euro squad for "footballing reasons" even though it was widely believed the 33-year-old's absence was due to the presence in the group of John Terry.
Chelsea captain Terry will stand trial in July on charges of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother Anton during an match against QPR in October and many reports said Hodgson was keen not to select Rio to avoid a potential dressing room rift over the issue.
Jamie Moralee, Ferdinand's long-time friend and business partner, accused Hodgson of "a total lack of respect", while Ferdinand tweeted "What reasons?????!!!" in a clear reference to the England manager's attempt to dismiss the issue.
But Ferdinand, who had already seen Everton defender Phil Jagielka called up ahead of him after an injury to Gareth Barry, has moved to calm a potentially explosive issue by insisting he will still support England at the finals.
On Monday, he tweeted: "Just so we dont get it twisted ere....i'll be in a pub somewhere supporting England this summer! Love the lads!"
For Hodgson, though, the issue will not go away and he is likely to face more questions at the first opportunity after England arrive at their Krakow base on Wednesday.