Ferdinand agent's fury at England snub as Cahill ruled out
Rio Ferdinand revealed last night the extent of his anger at his continued exile from the England squad with his representative accusing manager Roy Hodgson of a "total lack of respect".
Jamie Moralee, the managing director of New Era Global Sports Management, which represents the defender, and his brother Anton, said: "Lampard, Terry, Barry, Gerrard: all ageing but they (were picked to) 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."
Ferdinand was snubbed again by Hodgson yesterday after Gary Cahill was ruled out of the squad for the Euro 2012 finals having suffered a double fracture to his jaw. As expected, Hodgson called up Liverpool's Martin Kelly to replace Cahill, who was injured when he was pushed into goalkeeper Joe Hart by Belgium's Dries Mertens during Saturday's final warm-up match at Wembley.
Ferdinand did not expect to be called up, and indeed flew out to Cyprus on a holiday yesterday, but took to the social networking site Twitter soon after the announcement was made to post the cryptic message: "What reasons?????!!!"
That was clearly a reference to the so-called "football reasons" given for his omission from the original squad with Hodgson having refuted suggestions that Ferdinand had been left out so that John Terry -- who faces trial in July for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand -- could be included. Terry denies the charges.
Ferdinand is furious and is considering issuing his own statement and possibly announcing his retirement from international football at the age of 33. In the meantime, Moralee spoke out to reveal the sense of grievance his client feels.
The row is a sensitive issue for the FA and Hodgson will have to deal with more questions over his refusal to select Ferdinand. Matters could be further complicated if Terry fails to recover from a hamstring strain. He left the field early on Saturday and underwent a scan yesterday. Although the results appear to be positive he will be checked again.
Martens was also on Twitter yesterday, apologising for the incident. "I sincerely apologise for the harm I've caused to Cahill," he said. "When in the heat of the moment, you often don't think about the consequences."
Hodgson has reshuffled his squad with Kelly now providing cover for his Liverpool team-mate Glen Johnson at right-back, meaning that Manchester United's Phil Jones is now one of the four central defenders along with Phil Jagielka, brought in last week to replace the injured Gareth Barry.
Kelly's inclusion is no surprise given the 22-year-old made his international debut in last weekend's friendly away to Norway. However, Kelly made just 12 Premier League appearances last season, and has played barely 30 first-team games, while Ferdinand has experience at every major tournament England have qualified for since -- and including -- the 1998 World Cup Finals.
The English FA's medical staff scanned Cahill again yesterday, which confirmed a double fracture to his jaw.
He joins goalkeeper John Ruddy (broken finger), Barry (abdomen) and Frank Lampard (thigh strain) in having to withdraw from the original squad with Hodgson left to curse his bad luck. (© Daily Telegraph, London)