Hodgson: 'I have to live with Rio call'

England manager insists he left out Ferdinand because defender would not have been an automatic selection

Krakow

Roy Hodgson declared last night that he had not given a last-minute recall of Rio Ferdinand to the England ranks the slightest consideration, though he acknowledged that he would have to have been living "on the planet Mars" not to have been aware of the John Terry race case that would have made a call-up potentially inflammatory.

Hodgson, who revealed that John Terry and Ashley Cole will face France in England's opening Euro 2012 match, against France in Donetsk tomorrow night, expanded for the first time on the "footballing reasons" which he says led exclusively to Ferdinand's omission from his squad.

"I'll tell you one of the things," he said. "When you've played 81 times already, but only a couple of times in the last few years and had a lot of injuries, I don't think those players go as travellers. They go as one of the first names on the teamsheet. I had to be convinced that, if I was going to take Rio, he'd be one of the first names on the teamsheet. I couldn't be convinced that would be the case."

In the last two years, Ferdinand has played two full England games plus the first half of a Wembley friendly against France. Hodgson resisted any temptation to voice frustration with the 33-year-old's representative, Jamie Moralee, describing as "disgraceful" the decision to overlook him when Gary Cahill was forced out through injury. Hodgson said: "That was a tough call. Now I have to live, no doubt in this tournament and maybe for years ahead, with the fact people have said other things, his representatives have said other things. It's a fact of life."

Hodgson revealed that his first thought when Cahill's broken jaw was confirmed last Saturday was whether the Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kyle Walker's toe injury might have cleared up, allowing him to be drafted in as competition for Glen Johnson. Instead, he took Martin Kelly – who was feeling a fever and didn't train yesterday - from his standby squad.

Hodgson said he had selected his side for the Donbass Arena and would tell his players tonight, even it it might leak out to the benefit of France coach Laurent Blanc by tomorrow morning.

James Milner did not train yesterday, as a precaution, because he damaged a heel in training on Friday and the need of padding on it meant keeping a boot off. The forecast is for 30C in Donetsk on Monday and Blanc's players will wear ice jackets at half-time. "I don't know about the artificial jackets. That is interesting. We haven't gone that far," Hodgson said.

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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory