Heskey admits Ferdinand was injured by his fall

The England striker Emile Heskey said yesterday that he still felt guilty for his part in the challenge that ended Rio Ferdinand's World Cup finals despite being forgiven by the England captain.

The Aston Villa man was being challenged by Ferdinand at the end of the squad's first training session on Friday when the incident took place. The damage to Ferdinand's knee was bad enough that he knew almost immediately that he would play no further part in the World Cup finals.

Heskey said: "It was difficult. What happened was that I tried to turn the ball round the corner and fell backwards on to him but his leg was in a position where he couldn't actually move it.

"There was nothing he could do but knowing he was out of the World Cup, when he was our captain and has been a great player through the years for England and for his club, and knowing that because of an incident between me and him he was out was disappointing. I spoke to him afterwards and he told me there was nothing I could do but it was still difficult."

Michael Carrick said that the Adidas Jabulani ball that has caused so much controversy in the build-up to the World Cup was even causing problems for outfield players. He said: "To be honest, it's not great. You just can't trust it really. You've seen some of the goals that have gone in. You set it off in one direction and it does its own thing and goes in another direction. Look at the goal China scored against France last weekend. That was unbelievable. It makes keepers look pretty silly – but what can you do?

"As a midfielder, you feel that once you play it wide and put air into it, it's anybody's guess what will happen. It's really light. You can hit five balls, think you've hit them all the same way but each of them will do different things. Of course, it is great for shooting. You feel that if you can hit the shot on target it is going to give the keeper problems, but in general play it's proving pretty difficult."

The United States striker Jozy Altidore has won his battle to be fit to face England in Rustenburg. Altidore missed the 3-1 win over Australia at the weekend in a friendly international in Johannesburg while recovering from an ankle problem but is now fit.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...