Rio Ferdinand's decision not to play for England in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers has taken over the world of media this week. In addition, Ferdinand's decision to do punditry work in Qatar has thrown further fuel on the fire.
Ferdinand citied "medical reasons" as the reason for pulling out of the England squad as it would interfere with the strict training regime he has at Manchester United.
This is something that had been first brought up by Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United's press conference last Friday.
It could be argued that Sir Alex's comments as well as a word behind doors had a major influence on Rio's decision. What ever way you look at it, Rio is the only one who knows the limitations of his own body. Maybe he felt playing two games in one week would take its toll and interfere with his form and fitness for the Premier League title run-in.
Roy Hodgson said it was maybe "naive" of him to think Rio would play. I would have to agree, given the history between the two. Rio had been snubbed by Hodgson in the wake of the John Terry and Anton Ferdinand incident. Hodgson stated the Rio was left out because of "football reasons" which was later proved not to be the case. Even after Terry retired Hodgson overlooked Rio, when he was in excellent form. So why would Rio risk his fitness for a manager who never showed faith in him.
As for the pundit work for Al Jazeera TV in Qatar, that is entirely Ferdinand's own business. He has made the decision not to play for England so he is free to do whatever he wants in his free time. And the talk that the 15 hour flight will have the same impact on Ferdinand's body as two international matches is utter nonsense.
The bottom line is it looks unlikely that Rio will ever play for England again. The English media and fans need to move on from this and remember that they still have two qualifiers to play which has received little attention.
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