Roy Hodgson has apologised to Rio Ferdinand after reportedly revaling to passengers on a London underground train his international career with England was over.
Ferdinand has not featured for England since 2011 and was left out of Hodgson’s squad for Euro 2012, something of a controversial decision given the presence of John Terry, who at that point still had a charge for racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother Anton hanging over him.
Hodgson was photographed by fans travelling to watch Arsenal’s 3-1 Champions League victory over Olympiakos at the Emirates stadium last night, and reportedly 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 was quoted as saying.
“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.”
Ferdinand was left out of Hodgson’s squad for England’s upcoming fixtures against San Marino and Poland that was announced earlier today.
In a statement on the FA’s official website, Hodgson apologised to Ferdinand, and denied he had ever insinuated the Manchester United defender’s international career was over.
"I'm very disappointed that the story has come out like that and I'll apologise to Rio because there's no way I would ever indicate that I wasn't going to use a player in that way.
“But the thing is that I didn’t choose him in the squad this time and it’s really just for the same reasons as before."
Recently, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and former United full-back and England coach Gary Nevile urged Ferdinand to retire from international football.
However Hodgson insisted the door is not shut to the 33-year-old in the future.
“We have other players, but I’m certainly not suggesting that it’s the end of the line and I would never dream of telling a player that it’s the end of the line or end of the road, or whatever I’m supposed to have said.
“That’s up to every player to decide for himself and hopefully that won’t be the case, so when I speak to Rio I will make it clear to him that I haven’t selected him in this squad but who knows whether I will select him in the next one or not.
”I will leave it up to him to decide, so that if I ever do go to him, it will be up to Rio to decide whether he wants to be a part of it or not.”