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The Sports Matrix: Friday 5 October 2012

Hodgson hopes gaffe won't prompt Rio's retirement 

Roy Hodgson hopes his disclosure to Tube train passengers on Wednesday that Rio Ferdinand had been excluded from the England squad again would not cause the defender to end his international career.

The England manager, above, apologised to Ferdinand for telling passengers who spoke to him that the 33-year-old would not be in the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.

Hodgson said he would contact Ferdinand to apologise but denied saying that the defender's international career was over.

The Manchester United defender sent a message to Hodgson last night accepting his apology, but the two have not spoken directly. "I'll give him my sincere apologies," said Hodgson. "I respect the man and I respect the player. If Rio is still interested after what he might regard as an insult – it wasn't intended as such, and he may turn his back on us even if we don't on him – when I call him it would be directly to play in the team. Not just as part of the squad." MORE

Edwards helps England prevail

England defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in Colombo to reach the Women's World Twenty20 final. England limited New Zealand to 93-8 before captain Charlotte Edwards hit 33 as England reached 94-3 with 16 balls to spare. MORE

Injury will make Wilshere 'stronger'

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey believes team-mates Jack Wilshere and Emmanuel Frimpong will improve after recovering from their injuries. Ramsey, who missed over a year after breaking his leg in 2010 and scored in Wednesday's win over Olympiakos, said: "It does make you stronger." MORE

Spurs frustrated at Panathinaikos

Tottenham were held to a 1-1 draw away at Panathinaikos in Group J last night. Michael Dawson's 35th-minute header put Spurs in front before Toche levelled in the 77th minute to frustrate Andre Villas-Boas's side, who are still searching for their first group victory. MORE

Liverpool beaten by Italians at home

Liverpool suffered a 3-2 home loss to Udinese in Group A. Giovanni Pasquale scored to make it 3-1 before Luis Suarez pulled one back. Jonjo Shelvey had put Liverpool ahead with Antonio Di Natale levelling before the hosts fell behind when Sebastian Coates scored an own-goal. MORE

Newcastle earn comfortable win

Newcastle recorded a convincing 3-0 victory over Bordeaux in Group D at the Sports Direct Arena. Shola Ameobi struck in the 16th minute and Carlos Henrique scored an own goal before the break. Senegalese striker Papiss Cissé made it three in the 49th minute. MORE

Deschamps omits Nasri for France

Samir Nasri has been excluded from the France squad to face Japan in a friendly and Spain in a World Cup qualifier this month, having served a three-match ban. France coach Didier Deschamps said it was not "the right time" for Nasri's return. MORE

Chopra charged with bribery

Ipswich striker Michael Chopra has been charged by the British Horseracing Authority with offering to bribe jockey Andrew Heffernan and "conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice". MORE

Brailsford on City

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was able to pick the brain of British cycling guru Dave Brailsford at the Manchester Velodrome yesterday, as the two discussed their sports. MORE

Graham to miss 12 games for biting

James Graham will miss England's autumn internationals after being banned for 12 matches for ear-biting. The former St Helens prop was found guilty of the offence after being placed on report during the Australian Grand Final on Sunday. MORE

Sri Lanka ease through to final

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 16 runs to reach the World Twenty20 final. Mahela Jayawardene hit 42 before Sri Lanka made 14 from the last over to reach 139-4. They then restricted Pakistan to 123-7. They play Australia or West Indies in the final. MORE

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