Ahead of their opening Euro 2012 match against Roy Hodgson’s England side, French manager Laurent Blanc has reignited the debate over the exclusion of Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.
Ferdinand was controversially left out after a widely acknowledged personal clash between himself and John Terry after the latter allegedly racially abused the Manchester United captain’s brother. Blanc now insists the decision to leave Ferdinand out had nothing to do with sport, contrary to what Hodgson has said in public.
“Rio Ferdinand is a very good player, even though he might be coming to the end of his career,” Blanc said.
“It was surprising not to see him picked given all the injuries they have in that sector. I know Rio and I think the choice not to take him, from afar, is not a sporting one.”
Even after seeing Chelsea defender Gary Cahill withdraw from the tournament through injury, Hodgson opted to call up inexperienced Liverpool defender Martin Kelly.
Blanc is surely of the belief that any focus on the Ferdinand saga will have a detrimental effect on the England squad as the two sides prepare for a momentous first fixture in this summer’s tournament.
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