Hodgson: Rio wasn't an option

Roy Hodgson (File)
Roy Hodgson (File)

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 fullback 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 for being 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."

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