Roy Hodgson plays the waiting game in John Terry fiasco
England's head coach, Roy Hodgson, will wait for personal notification of John Terry's intentions before deciding whether to welcome him back into the international set-up for the season's two remaining games. As Hodgson travelled to Newcastle for last night's game against Liverpool, the Football Association's official position was that the national team's former captain "is still internationally retired".
Despite conflicting reports in an embarrassing public-relations mix-up yesterday, Terry still wants to return to the fold after announcing his retirement ahead of a disciplinary tribunal last autumn, which found him guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. Terry remains upset with the retiring FA chairman, David Bernstein, who took the captaincy from him 14 months ago, prompting Fabio Capello's resignation, and whose hand he refused to shake at a recent Uefa event.
As with the West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster, who has now rejoined the squad after a self-imposed exile, Hodgson's position has always been to welcome players back. There are additional complications, however, with Terry. One is that he was given a four-match domestic ban for his abuse of Ferdinand, which some felt should have been extended to cover England games. Then there is his relationship with Ferdinand's brother Rio, once Terry's regular central-defensive partner, who blotted his own copybook by pulling out of the most recent matches against San Marino and Montenegro because it did not suit his personal training plans.
There was further confusion yesterday when a source close to Terry attempted to deny that he wanted to return, then tried to claim it would be in an emergency only. In fact, he has missed international football and would love to be picked for the matches against Ireland on 29 May and Brazil in Rio four days later.
Having played for Chelsea against Basle on Thursday, Terry is expected to be rested for today's Premier League game at home to Swansea. The focus instead will be on the referee Mark Clattenburg, returning to Stamford Bridge for the first time since Jon Obi Mikel and Ramires wrongly accused him of making a racist remark last October, and on Eden Hazard, who was sent off for kicking a Swansea ball-boy in the League Cup semi-final in January.
Chelsea v Swansea City is today, kick-off 3pm
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