World Cup 2014: Will Raheem Sterling be suspended for England's opening World Cup fixture against Italy?
Sterling and Antonio Valencia were sent-off during the 2-2 draw between England and Ecuador
Raheem Sterling will be available for England’s opening World Cup group game against Italy following his red card in the 2-2 draw with Ecuador as the midfielder has been handed a one-match ban.
Sterling was shown a straight red card just 16 minutes after coming off the bench for a reckless challenge on Antonio Valencia. The Manchester United winger was also dismissed for his violent reaction to the tackle, where he grabbed Sterling around the throat twice leading to a mass confrontation between both sets of players.
But both players will be available for their opening group games after they were each handed a one-match suspension, meaning Sterling will be unavailable for Saturday’s international friendly against Honduras in Miami.
Hodgson admitted he was disappointed with the referees reaction, as he felt that the Liverpool star got the ball, though the Three Lions manager did accept it was a fierce challenge.
Watch Sam Wallace's round-up of England's 2-2 draw with Ecuador below:
After the match, Hodgson said: “I'm disappointed. I thought it was a fierce challenge from young Raheem, not a foul challenge. He played the ball.
“I'm disappointed with Antonio's reaction, grabbing the player. Had he not jumped up there wouldn't have been a problem but, when he does that, the referee had to deal with that and sent Raheem off.
“I'm pleased Raheem didn't react to a lot of people milling around him.”
Read more: England 2 Ecuador 2 match report
Oxlade-Chamberlain fear for England
Oxlade-Chamberlain injury would be 'massive blow', says Hodgson
It means Sterling will be available to face Italy in Manaus on Saturday 14 June, when England get their campaign underway in the extreme conditions of the Amazonian city. Valencia, one of Ecuador’s key players, will return for their opening match against Switzerland a day later.
Valencia has since apologised to his country, team-mates and manager for his reaction, but did not mention Sterling in his messages posted on social media.
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94
Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)
Latest in Sport
Phil Hughes injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener 'fights for his life'
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund player ratings: Who was the star man at the Emirates? Alexis Sanchez? Santi Cazorla? Or Yaya Sanogo?
Phil Hughes: A swashbuckling, raw and talented batsman who had the world at his feet
Phil Hughes dead: List of players who have tragically died on the cricket pitch
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund report: Yaya Sanogo and Alexis Sanchez are on target as Gunners secure impressive victory
- 1 Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football