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Sir Dave Richards says how Rio Ferdinand’s withdrawal from England squad was handle brings game into disrepute

March 19th, 2013 Sports


Rio Ferdinand: Sir Dave Richards: Situation surrounding Rio Ferdinand England withdrawal brought game into disrepute


Negative implications: Rio Ferdinand’s dramatic withdrawal from the England squad brought the game into disrepute, according to Sir Dave Richards.  Photo: Andy Hooper / Associated Newspapers




Roy Hodgson was left red-faced on Monday when Ferdinand pulled out of the
World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro, four days after the
England manager ended the Manchester United defender’s international exile.

Ferdinand met Hodgson on Sunday, when he presented an “intricate pre-planned
programme” to show it would be detrimental to his fitness to play during the
current international break.

The 34-year-old insisted he was “gutted” to pull out but that did not prevent
him coming under heavy fire for doing so.

Richards, who is on the Football Association board and is Premier League
chairman, said today: “I’m saddened sometimes by what happens in football in
cases like this.

“Rio has been a fantastic servant to England
and he’s been a great person for the game.

“And to one day say he’s going to play and then the next day say he’s not… I
think that does bring the game into a little bit of disrepute.

“Perhaps we need to learn a lesson and do a bit of checking first within the
FA.”

Hodgson controversially omitted Ferdinand from his squad for last summer’s
European Championship at the height of the John Terry racism scandal, the
England manager citing “footballing reasons”.

Richards, speaking at the Securing Sport conference in Doha, said “I don’t
think there is any tension [between them].

“Look, if a player gets dropped or a manager comes in, there are always things
like that.

“But we’re grown men and it’s no good for the Premier League, or for
Manchester United, for Roy Hodgson, for one day Rio to say he’s going to
play and the next day he’s not.

“There’s something not quite right so we need to sort that out.”