Roy Hodgson says that Jamie Vardy, the Leicester City striker fined by his club for using a racially offensive term in a casino, has been disciplined by the Football Association and cleared for selection against San Marino in the Euro 2016 qualifier on Saturday night.
Vardy will make his first start against the Sammarinese in Serravalle and Hodgson said that John Stones and Jonjo Shelvey would also feature in his first XI. Vardy was given a “substantial fine” by Leicester for using the racist epithet “Jap” and Hodgson said FA technical director Dan Ashworth had spoken privately with the player to remind him of his responsibilities.
Hodgson said: “That was dealt with by Dan Ashworth, who took him to one side and spoke to him. I spoke to him. That’s water under the bridge. There’ll be questions like that coming up on a regular basis during the rest of my time as England manager. I’ll save the dramas for the real dramas.”
The England manager was unperturbed by the controversy surrounding Stones and his failed attempt to persuade Everton to allow him to join Chelsea last month. “That’s out of my control,” Hodgson said. “I don’t think John Stones requires me to talk to him about it. He’s been 100 per cent professional and accepted there’s an offer for him from another club, but his club didn’t want to sell him. He will continue to play well for Everton now the window has closed. We believe in him.”
Shelvey’s only previous cap came against San Marino in 2012 and Hodgson said the midfielder had justified his recall. “Last time he was in another good period in his career, but a lot has happened since. He’s left Liverpool, joined Swansea, improved all the time he’s been at Swansea.
“It’s not unusual it’s taken him a while to reach the level we knew he could reach. He’s still on 22, but he can look forward to a long England career if he continues the progress he’s been making at Swansea.”
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