Date:16th May 2012 at 12:36am
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John Terry spits at Carlos Tevez during the Champions League final

John Terry spits at Carlos Tevez during the Champions League final

If ALL the many reports are to be believed then Rio Ferdinand, one of the most popular and most capped players available to new England boss Roy Hodgson will not be going to the Euros.

Despite playing more first team games than his new arch-nemesis John Terry, it is believed Ferdinand has been left out due to concerns regarding his fitness.

The Mirror notes:

Rio Ferdinand has been sensationally axed from England’s Euro 2012 squad.

England boss Roy Hodgson all but ended Ferdinand’s international career when he rang him on Tuesday night to tell him he had been left out of the 23-man party which will be announced on Wednesday.

Ex-England captain Ferdinand, 33, who has won 81 caps, will be devastated at the blow even though he has been struggling with a back injury.

But it is still a huge statement by Hodgson and a sea change in his management as Ferdinand has been a vastly experienced and popular member of the squad.

As a United fan, Ferdinand not going to a tournament which could affect his fitness for the start of next season actually pleases me, as I’ve never once hid the fact that my club not only comes before my country it almost totally overshadows it.

As a person who’s suffered racism and finds it abhorrent though, my feelings are somewhat mixed, after all let’s not beat around the bush here, Rio Ferdinand has been left out due to his fractured relationship with John Terry.

Earlier this month Hodgson claimed:

‘I’ll have to get in touch with John and Rio to speak with them, hopefully face to face, and find out where they are in this situation.

‘Until such time as I’ve spoken to them and found out where they stand in relation to the situation, it would be wrong of me to comment. And not just those two. I’ll have to speak to as many senior players as I can.’ 

So there can be little doubt that Hodgson intended to pick both Terry and Ferdinand- otherwise why would he need to “find out where they are in this situation”?

Ferdinand’s omission after a season where his side finished 25 points above John Terry’s who’s banned from the Champions League final this weekend is a blow for a a player who’s never hid is love of playing for his country. It’s also a blow for decency as let’s not sugar coat it, Ferdinand’s brother got racially abused- allegedly – by John Terry and because of that Ferdinand won’t be going to the Euros.

Some people would argue Ferdinand can’t cope with the flurry of games at the tournament, yet this is a player who’s played 30 times this season and as recently as April managed four games in a fortnight – United won three of them all with clean sheets.

There is the argument that Terry is innocent until proven guilty of course, which despite the video evidence is still true, but does that then mean that Ferdinand should be punished instead while the man stripped twice of the captaincy awaits his court case?

Hodgson has decided he can’t take both of them, so gone with Terry, rather than the player who’s not only had a better season- but also isn’t the one accused of racially abusing a fellow pro. As a United fan, I’m glad a player we need fit next season can have a well earned rest, as a black man I’m disappointed and even somewhat appalled.

If Ferdinand had stated he couldn’t play alongside Terry then I’ll hold my hands up and admit that maybe Hodgson couldn’t bow down to an ultimatum, but that’s a big “if” that remains to be seen. Either way, its a sad state of affairs and hardly a victory for anyone let alone football.

Check out the Mirror’s article here: