Hodgson on Terry selection
Roy Hodgson has insisted John Terry will not prove a divisive influence in the England dressing room at Euro 2012 after selecting the Chelsea captain in his 23-man party for the tournament, and stressed Rio Ferdinand had been omitted purely for “footballing reasons”.
Terry, who denies wrongdoing, is due in court on 9 July charged with racially abusing Ferdinand’s younger brother, Anton, during Chelsea’s defeat at Queens Park Rangers last October and there had been fears the furore surrounding that issue might fracture the squad.
Ferdinand is understood to be angered by his omission and is convinced he has been sacrificed in the belief he could not be picked alongside Terry at the risk of splits developing in the camp.
Hodgson preferred to point to the fact Ferdinand has not featured regularly for his country since before the 2010 World Cup – due to injury – and stressed that although he is acutely aware of the impending court case, it had not influenced his decision.
Asked whether the Chelsea player’s selection risked being divisive, Hodgson said: “No, I didn’t have any reason to think that. I chose John Terry, and excluded Rio Ferdinand for purely footballing reasons. Other issues were not significant in my thinking.
“Everyone knows a situation has arisen, but I have tried to put it as far from my mind as possible. If I honestly believed the two of them were right to take, or that neither were right, I’d have done that.
“I’ve picked a squad in good faith who will go to this tournament to do a job for England. No one tried to convince me it would be better with or without any player, so I’ll stand by my decision and accept any criticism that comes my way.”
Ferdinand tweeted last night (16 May): “Absolutely loved playing for england….to say I’m gutted is an understatement of the highest order…”
Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out, commented: “Following the decision by the England manager to exclude Rio Ferdinand from his Euro 2012 squad, concerns have been expressed by fans to Kick It Out, and to myself individually.
“These individuals are suspicious as to the way the selection was made, and are even more concerned that The FA hasn’t resolved the issue of a player charged with racial abuse. They can’t understand why this hasn’t been decided upon and question the reason why it has been delayed.”
From the Guardian