Ferdinand retires from England

Times up: Rio Ferdinand has called time on his international career

Times up: Rio Ferdinand has called time on his England career

Rio Ferdinand has called time on his international career for England to keep his club career at Manchester United in good shape.  The 34-year-old has informed England manager Roy Hodgson of his retirement before the Hodgson will announce the Three Lions squad for their friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.

Ferdinand won 81 caps for England during his 16-year career with the Three Lions, and was the youngest defender to ever to play for the national team when he made his debut for England in a match against Cameroon in 1997 at the age of 19.  Although the center-back’s international career Continue reading

FA claims no evidence of racist chants at Ferdinands

The English FA has said that they have not found evidence of racist chants aimed towards Rio and Anton Ferdinand during England’s World Cup qualifier against San Marino last Friday.  Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) made an official complaint to Fifa over racism chants by England fans in England’s World Cup qualifier, but the English FA has said that there is no evidence with FARE’s case.

“The FA takes all incidents and allegations of racism extremely seriously,” The FA said in a statement today.. “In San Marino, we had FA security officers monitoring the English supporters in the stadium. This includes recorded video footage.

“We also worked closely with UK Police in advance of and on the night of the game.

“While we have no reason to dispute the media reports which are without doubt made for the right reasons of fighting racism, at this time we have not found any recorded evidence of the specific discriminatory chanting referring to Rio and Anton Ferdinand and the vile ‘bonfire’ song. We will of course continue to review all of our recorded footage.

“We recognize the importance of FARE’s responsibility to report any incidents to Fifa. We will liaise with Fifa and work with them to assist any investigation.

“Should evidence of any racial chanting be found, we would expect action to be taken against any individuals.

“We would expect banning orders to be issued by the courts as a minimum penalty.

“We do not want supporters who chant vile or racist abuse following the England team.”

Racist chants at England’s match were reportedly aimed at Manchester United center-back Rio Ferdinand and his brother, Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.  Rio had been called up to the England squad for the first time since 2011 by manager Roy Hodgson, but withdrew from the squad due to his “pre-planned training program.”  Rio, 34, has hit out at the England supporters chanting racist abuse tweeting, “You expect+accept banter from fans on the terraces as its part of what makes the game great, but racism is not banter& from ya own fans. WOW.”

England fans reported over racist chants at Ferdinand brothers

Fifa have received an official complaint from Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) regarding racist chants aimed towards Rio and Anton Ferdinand during England’s 8-0 win over San Marino in a World Cup qualifier.  It is understood that allegations are towards sections of England fans during the match, and FARE have admitted they had no eyewitnesses at the match, and that their allegations are partly based on media comments.  The English FA could face large fine if the supporters are found guilty, as did the Serbian FA for racist abuse in their U-21 match against England.

FARE tweeted, “FARE has sent reports of racist or xenophobic abuse at three #FIFA WC qualifiers on 22/3/13: Croatia v Serbia, Poland v Ukraine and San Marino v England.”

“Although we did not have observers at the match we have pulled together evidence sent to us including media comment and have passed that on to Fifa,” FARE’s executive director Piara Powar said.  “I think that it’s one of those things that is very subtle. We would say racism and other forms of discrimination is not always banana-throwing and monkey chants. The people collating the reports believed it is strong enough to send on to Fifa. From the reports we have seen I personally think there was an undercurrent of race there, and other people have thought that it has been imbued with racist overtones.”

Racist chants during the match were aimed at Manchester United center-back Rio Ferdinand and his brother, Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.  Rio had been called up to the England squad for the first time since 2011 by manager Roy Hodgson, but withdrew from the squad due to his “pre-planned training program.”  The thirty-four-year-old was in Qatar fulfilling television commitments during the match.

A FARE spokeswomen told the Daily Mail, “It (the complaint) refers to the racist abuse Rio Ferdinand received, along with his brother Anton.

“We don’t make the judgement. We send a report to FIFA but in the end it’s their decision whether they open proceedings or not. And whether they issue a fine or not.”

The English FA has not yet made an official comment.

Ferdinand withdraws from England squad

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has withdrawn from the England national squad following a meeting with England manager Roy Hodgson on Sunday evening. Hodgson explained Ferdinand could not play in England’s World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro “due to the detailed pre-planned training and medical program he (Ferdinand) must follow.”

Ferdinand had been called up to the squad by Hodgson after previously being ignored by him and former England manager Fabio Capello since his last cap, against Switzerland in June 2011. There had been doubts about whether Ferdinand would play for England, and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson stated that playing for England would disrupt Ferdinand’s fitness program.

“Roy Hodgson phoned me to say he had called him (Rio) up and I was quite surprised,” Ferguson said. “I did say to him that I will talk to Rio.

“The issue is not that (amount of games), the issue is his whole preparation for football today.

“It involves treatment, it involves rest, it involves heavy days followed by some light days followed by some easy days.

“Our medical staff and fitness lads have done a great job with him. That’s the issue.

“Because he hasn’t been playing international football, when the international breaks have come along, we have detailed all the things he has to do: when he trains, when his treatments come along, therefore it is a disruption to his normal preparation.”

But on Saturday Ferguson announced that Ferdinand would join the squad, and when asked if Ferdinand would join, he answered “Yes.” However, following Ferdinand’s meeting with Hodgson, it has been announced that the thirty-four-year-old would not make the trip to the England camp.

“Rio Ferdinand has been forced to withdraw from England’s forthcoming fixtures with San Marino and Montenegro,” an English Football Association statement read. “The decision was taken following a meeting in London on Sunday evening with Rio Ferdinand and England Manager Roy Hodgson.”

Hodgson has expressed his disappointment on Ferguson withdrawing, but did not rule out the possibility of Ferdinand returning to the England squad. “I’m disappointed Rio will not be available, but due to the detailed pre-planned training and medical programme he must follow it’s not possible. However, I was pleased that Rio called and asked to meet with me. It was important to hear from him personally about the way he must manage his body between games.” This is not to say he cannot play back-to-back games – he can and has proven so. He’s out this time due to particular pre-planned details already in place for his programme. I must place on record how I was impressed with his commitment to playing for England and I look forward to hopefully selecting him for squads in the future.”

Ferdinand has also told of his disappointment on having to withdraw. “It was important for me to be able to speak with Roy face to face and explain the situation, and one thing I made clear was that my passion and commitment to represent my country is as strong as ever. It is disappointing that I won’t be able to play a part in the upcoming games but I told Roy that I want to continue to be available for England and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

Ferdinand has been replaced by Tottenham defender Steven Caulker for the qualifiers.

Ferdinand recalled to England squad

Manchester United center-back Rio Ferdinand has been recalled to the England squad for their World Cup qualifiers after an absence of almost two years.  The thirty-four-year-old has been recalled for England’s World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro, and is part of Roy Hodgson’s twenty-six man squad.  Ferdinand has won 81 caps and last played for The Three Lions on June 4, 2011 against Switzerland in a European Championship qualifier.  But Ferdinand was excluded from England’s Euro 2012 squad that reached the Quarterfinals, for what Hodgson called “footballing reasons”.  He he has been included with six other Manchester United players, and surprisingly the entire England squad (except for Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster) plays in the English Premier League with either Everton, United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Liverpool or West Bromwich Albion.  England will play San Marino on March 22 and will play Montenegro on March 26 in qualifying Group H.

England Squad
Goalkeepers: Ben Foster, Joe Hart, Fraser Forster
Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Michael Dawson, Rio Ferdinand , Glen Johnson, Chris Smalling, Kyle Walker
Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Leon Osman, Scott Parker , Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Ashley Young
Forwards: Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Daniel Welbeck