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Hodgson criticised over Ferdi snub
Rio Ferdinand's representative has accused the Football Association and England manager Roy Hodgson of treating the defender with "a total lack of respect" after the Manchester United player suffered another Euro 2012 snub.
The FA confirmed on Sunday that Gary Cahill had been ruled out of the tournament after fracturing his jaw in two places during Saturday's friendly win over Belgium at Wembley.
It meant Hodgson had another space to fill in his squad, having already used his standby defender, Phil Jagielka, to replace Gareth Barry last week. Ferdinand, 33, would have been the obvious choice given his vast experience, a commodity which England have lost so much of following the injuries to Barry and Frank Lampard in the past week.
Instead Hodgson has gone for Liverpool youngster Martin Kelly, who made his international debut as a substitute in the final two minutes of the win in Norway on May 26.
Hodgson faced a barrage of questions when naming his squad on May 16 about whether he had snubbed Ferdinand because of concerns the centre-back would not be able to get along with John Terry, in light of Terry's impending court case for alleged racist remarks to Ferdinand's brother Anton at Loftus Road in October. Terry denies the charge against him.
And it appears the Ferdinand camp feel there is more to the decision than simply "footballing reasons", the grounds Hodgson gave for leaving the Manchester United man out of his initial squad. Ferdinand's representative and long-standing friend Jamie Moralee said: "Lampard, Terry, Barry, Gerrard; all ageing but they go to the tournament.
"Why is Rio different? To treat a player that has captained and served his country 81 times (in this manner) is nothing short of disgraceful. Total lack of respect from Hodgson and the FA as far as I am concerned."
Kelly, who made just 12 Premier League appearances for Liverpool last term, is bound to be relishing his chance. But having lost the equivalent of 143 caps' worth of experience last week when Lampard and Barry were ruled out, then bemoaned how much they would be missed, it is hard to believe Hodgson has ignored Ferdinand on form grounds alone.
That will bring yet more questions of the coach at the first available opportunity after England arrive at their Krakow base on Wednesday providing, as expected, Terry gets the green light to travel after an initial scan on the tight hamstring he experienced against Belgium yesterday indicated there was no serious damage.
"What reasons?????!!!" was Ferdinand's first reaction to his 2.8million Twitter followers as debate raged, indicating a sense of disenchantment that is magnified in private as the defender tries to comprehend the decision Hodgson has reached.