Anton Ferdinand speaks out over brother Rio's England omission

 

QPR defender Anton Ferdinand has refused to join the condemnation of brother Rio's omission from England's Euro 2012 squad.

Sol Campbell is the latest to speak out on the matter, claiming he would hand all his caps back if he felt a decision between Rio Ferdinand and John Terry had been taken on the basis of skin colour.

That does seem improbable, yet the general view is that the potential for conflict between the pair was the major factor behind Hodgson's decision, rather than "football reasons" as he previously suggested.

That all dates back to last October, when a confrontation between Anton Ferdinand and Terry at Loftus Road resulted in the Chelsea skipper being charged with racially abusing his opponent, something he strenuously denies.

Rio Ferdinand's adviser Jamie Moralee branded the decision to call in Martin Kelly as Gary Cahill's replacement on Sunday "disrespectful" and the player is equally unhappy.

He has vowed to support England in the tournament, however, and brother Anton has backed up those sentiments.

"Things happen in football," he told Daybreak.

"It's a game of ups and downs. I am sure he'd like to be there but sadly it didn't happen this time.

"But we move on and, like he said, he's going to follow them from somewhere else and, as a family and as a community, we're going to do that."

The whole Ferdinand issue has clouded England's arrival in Krakow, where they held their first training session behind closed doors this morning.

"We're here to talk about the tournament, about the 23 players who are here and I'm not prepared to discuss - at all - any players who are not here," said FA chairman David Bernstein last night.

"It might be an issue - but it's an issue I'm happy to talk about when the tournament is over maybe.

"We are here to talk about the tournament and about the future and that's it.

"We all want to maximise our chances of doing well and we believe the focus is on what's ahead of us - not what is behind us.

"We'd hope you would join us in that, looking forward to do the very best we can with positive thoughts and not dwelling on all these sorts of what are now frankly historical, extraneous issues."

PA

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