Ferguson: My comeback would have hurt Scotland

Midfielder feared media frenzy his return might involve and the knock-on effect for the national side
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The Independent Online

Barry Ferguson believes his return to the national team would have been too much of a distraction ahead of Scotland's Euro 2012 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Spain.

Any hopes of a comeback following his acrimonious exit from the national squad last year were ended on Monday when the Scottish Football Association confirmed there would be no return. The 32-year-old is keen to focus on his club career with Birmingham but also expressed fears over a media frenzy if he did play for Scotland again.

He told the Daily Record: "It has not been an easy decision for me to make but I feel I have done the right thing.

"There was a danger that, by returning now, I would have started a media frenzy and it would have been a distraction for the rest of the boys and the manager. That would not have helped anybody.

"Yes, it is hard to say no to Scotland because it hurts not to be involved with the national team. But I believe in fate and things happen for a reason. I want to enjoy my time here [at Birmingham] but I wish Scotland all the best."

The Football Association of Wales have confirmed they have not yet advertised the position of national team manager.

Reports have linked former England manager Terry Venables with the vacancy, while Ryan Giggs, Martin O'Neill and Chris Coleman are among those also being touted as potential permanent successors to John Toshack, who stepped down earlier this month.

Brian Flynn, who has been appointed as caretaker manager for Wales' forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifying matches against Bulgaria and Switzerland, is another candidate for the full-time job, but the FAW insists they are not yet inviting applications for the post.

A spokesman for the FAW said: "We've not actually advertised the position at all as yet, so anybody who is throwing their hat into the ring is doing so very much from their own point of view at the moment."

Toshack, who had been in charge of the Welsh team since 2004, had his employment with the FAW terminated by mutual consent after his side were beaten in their opening Euro 2012 qualifier by Montenegro.

Venables, 67, managed England in the mid-1990s, guiding the Three Lions to the semi-finals of Euro '96.

Brazil have confirmed two friendlies in October against Iran and Ukraine. The 2014 World Cup hosts will play Iran in Abu Dhabi on 7 October and Ukraine at Pride Park in Derby four days later.

Derby is "the city with the largest number of Ukrainian immigrants in England", the Brazilian Football Confederation said of the choice of venue on its website .

Coach Mano Menezes, who replaced Dunga after the World Cup in South Africa, named his squad last week for these matches. In his first match in charge Brazil beat the United States 2-0 in New Jersey in August.

Brazil have never met Iran and Ukraine before.

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