Rio Ferdinand defends trip to Qatar
Rio Ferdinand has defended his decision to fly to Doha and
appear as a television analyst for England’s World Cup qualifier
against San Marino on Friday, days after ruling himself out of the
match over fitness issues.
The Manchester United defender cited the need to follow a
”detailed and pre-planned program” of fitness as the reason for
missing the game at San Marino and Tuesday’s qualifier against
Montenegro, which would have marked his international return after
a two-year absence.
Instead, he’ll be in Qatar, visiting the Aspire training academy
before working for Al-Jazeera.
”No different from what I done on the last 10day international
break,” Ferdinand said in a Twitter post on Thursday, adding it is
”punditry thrown in for a game I would have watched anyway.”
England coach Roy Hodgson said he has no qualms about
Ferdinand’s decision to make the 15-hour journey to the Middle
”As we all know, he wasn’t able to accept the (squad)
invitation so what he actually does now and how he operates in the
coming couple of weeks, that’s his business and the club’s
business,” Hodgson said Thursday at a pre-match news
Hodgson said he will ”wait and see” if Ferdinand has an
”I think it’s more a question of how his injury situation will
impact upon him playing for England,” Hodgson said.
”At the moment it’s speculation about a longer-term future
whereas my focus is on these next two games.”