RIO FERDINAND last night insisted he would still be a firm supporter of England’s Euro 2012 campaign despite the controversy that has surrounded the Manchester United defender’s continued absence from the squad.
Ferdinand’s camp reacted furiously to the former England captain again being overlooked following the withdrawal of defender Gary Cahill, who suffered a fractured jaw during Saturday’s Wembley defeat of Belgium.
Rather than call Ferdinand, 33, into the squad, England boss Roy Hodgson selected Liverpool defender Martin Kelly, who played just 12 times for the Reds this season, prompting Jamie Moralee, Ferdinand’s long-time friend and business partner, to accuse the new manager of “a total lack of respect.”
But Ferdinand last night pledged to be fully supportive of the team in Ukraine and Poland.
He tweeted: “Just so we dont get it twisted ere....i’ll be in a pub somewhere supporting England this summer! Love the lads!”
Hodgson put Ferdinand’s absence down to “footballing reasons.”
However, many felt there were concerns about his ability 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.
Former England boss Steve McClaren had some sympathy for Hodgson, saying: “(He’s tried) to avoid the media circus that would go on and on and on. Imagine the media attention surrounding John Terry and Rio Ferdinand every day, at the hotel, stories coming out in training.
”I’m sure in an ideal world, without all the controversy around it, he would take both.”