Rio Ferdinand forced to withdraw from England squad but door stays open

The international comeback of Rio Ferdinand didn’t last very long. Having been omitted from England’s Euro 2012 squad, Roy Hodgson called up the Manchester United defender for the double header against San Marino and Montenegro.

Rio Ferdinand forced to withdraw from England squad but door stays open

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March 18th, 2013

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However, news broke on Monday lunchtime that the 34-year-old had dropped out of the Three Lions squad with the slightly flimsy excuse that his finely-tuned fitness programme means he wouldn’t be able to adjust in time to play both England matches.

Hodgson said: “I’m disappointed Rio will not be available, but due to the detailed pre-planned training and medical programme he must follow it’s not possible. However, I was pleased that Rio called and asked to meet with me. It was important to hear from him personally about the way he must manage his body between games.

“This is not to say he cannot play back-to-back games – he can and has proven so. He’s out this time due to particular pre-planned details already in place for his programme. I must place on record how I was impressed with his commitment to playing for England and I look forward to hopefully selecting him for squads in the future.”

Ferdinand said: “It was important for me to be able to speak with Roy face to face and explain the situation, and one thing I made clear was that my passion and commitment to represent my country is as strong as ever. It is disappointing that I won’t be able to play a part in the upcoming games but I told Roy that I want to continue to be available for England and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

A Football Association statement said: “Rio Ferdinand has been forced to withdraw from England’s forthcoming fixtures with San Marino and Montenegro. The decision was taken following a meeting in London on Sunday evening with Rio Ferdinand and England Manager Roy Hodgson. At the meeting, Rio confirmed he wants to continue playing for England and to be selected for the summer and autumn fixtures.”

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