England team will not join up later this month - because the players are too busy to meet Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson had hoped to gather his players during the four month break from internationals, but the FA failed to find an appropriate date on which to convene them

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The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson’s proposed meet-up for the England squad later this month is off, with the Football Association unable to find an appropriate date on which to convene the players.

Hodgson had hoped to meet his players for lunch to discuss preparation and to maintain contact during the long four month break from internationals over Christmas. The team will now meet next for their games against Lithuania, a Euro 2016 qualifier, and Italy, a friendly, in March.

It is understood that Hodgson voted for Javier Mascherano in the Ballon D’Or awards, an unusual choice given the other candidates, because he believed that either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo would win the competition and wanted to give recognition to another player.