Ferdinand gutted over England omission
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Veteran defender Rio Ferdinand was the highest-profile casualty on Wednesday as England manager Roy Hodgson unveiled his squad for the UEFA EURO 2012.

After intense speculation about whether Hodgson would risk picking Ferdinand and Chelsea captain John Terry in the same squad, an announcement confirmed that it was the Manchester United centre-half who had been left out.

Terry had previously been tipped to miss out with Hodgson questioning whether the centre-half could exist happily in the same squad as Ferdinand, who has accumulated 81 caps since making his debut in 1997.

However, Ferdinand's ability to withstand the rigours of a tournament campaign were called into doubt by his Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson last week, who questioned whether the defender could play two games in four days. Hodgson later told reporters that Ferdinand's omission was made "purely" on footballing grounds.

It was a hard phone call to make. I can only hope that Rio accepts my decision.
Roy Hodgson, England manager

"It's purely a footballing decision," Hodgson said. "He's a player I respect as a person and a man. But I had to make a footballing decision I had to decide on the basis of what I've seen in recent months.

"Rio's only played once for England in the last year. On a footballing basis I wanted people like [Phil] Jones in the squad. It was a hard phone call to make. I can only hope that Rio accepts my decision."

Ferdinand later responded to the setback on micro-blogging site Twitter. "Absolutely loved playing for england..." Ferdinand wrote. "to say I'm gutted is an understatement of the highest order..."

Meanwhile, Hodgson defended his decision to pick Terry, saying his looming court case had not figured in his calculations. "If we take the court case first of all, we must emphasise at first that he's an innocent man until such time as he's been proven guilty," Hodgson said.

"I realised when I selected him (Terry) there would be people who would raise their eyebrows. But I think he's played well and he's played an important part in their FA Cup victory and reaching the Champions League final. I'm hoping he will help us win matches."