Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Rio Ferdinand’s England career is over – by telling passengers on a London underground train.
Ferdinand was left out of Hodgson’s squad for Euro 2012, a move that was seen as an acknowledgement that the Manchester United defender could not play alongside John Terry who faced criminal charges for racially abusing his brother Anton – despite the England manager’s protestations that he was left out because of ‘football reasons’.
Terry has since retired from international football, paving the way for Ferdinand to add to the 81 caps he has won for England – although he has not featured for his country since June 2011.
However Hodgson was photographed by fans travelling to watch Arsenal’s 3-1 Champions League victory over Olympiakos at the Emirates stadium last night, and responded to questions from fans regarding Ferdinand's international future.
“I very much doubt [he'll play again]. He hasn’t played for England for quite a while,” he said.
The former Fulham and West Brom boss added: “I have to say it is over for him and England. It has got to be the end of the road. He is pushing 34 and hasn’t played for England for a long, long time.”
Hodgson’s comments are likely to cause something of a stir because of his willingness to discuss the sensitive issue with members of the public.
Ferdinand was fined in the aftermath of Terry’s trial, in which he was found not guilty, for branding the Chelsea defender’s team-mate and international colleague Ashley Cole a ‘choc-ice”.
As expected, Ferdinand has been left out by Hodgson for England’s upcoming games against San Marino and Poland this month.