Rio Ferdinand debate 'a smear campaign' against Roy Hodgson says Sven-Goran Eriksson
Wednesday 06 June 2012
Sven-Goran Eriksson has described the row over Rio Ferdinand's omission from England's Euro 2012 squad as "a smear campaign" against manager Roy Hodgson
Eriksson, who managed England between 2001 and 2006, sympathises with Hodgson over his decision to leave the Manchester United defender out.
Debate over Hodgson's stance has intensified since Gary Cahill was ruled out of the tournament and Liverpool's once-capped Martin Kelly was called up as a replacement.
Some believe that discredited Hodgson's claim that his snub of Ferdinand was a football decision and was instead a move to prevent any disharmony with John Terry.
"Choosing Kelly over Ferdinand seems to have caught him in the crossfire and, having selected six Liverpool players, Roy is the target of a smear campaign," the Swede told the Daily Mirror.
"Personally, I just find the whole thing to be quite silly.
"First of all, they're all good footballers. But secondly, Roy has rock-solid knowledge when it comes to the players' current form.
"I do understand Rio's disappointment. He was an incredibly important player for me in three tournaments, but we mustn't forget the injuries he has suffered this season.
"Roy has his reasons, otherwise he would not have rejected Rio - twice.
"It has been an entirely football-based decision. That's all there is to it
"I know Roy will face it without losing his composure. Remember, this is England. No squad is ever selected without criticism."
Latest in Sport
Angel Di Maria reveals wish to return to Argentina - but don't worry Manchester United fans...
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Husain Abdullah penalised after celebrating a touchdown with a Muslim prayer - causing mass outrage among fans
Robin van Persie reveals Louis van Gaal wants Manchester United to 'be more Dutch and pull on the same rope'
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
- 1 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 2 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 4 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 5 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks