England left Rio out for non sporting reasons, says Blanc

Jun 08, 2012, 07:59 IST | AFP

France coach Laurent Blanc yesterday stirred up the debate over Rio Ferdinand's exclusion from England's Euro 2012 squad

Both the Football Association and England coach Roy Hodgson — whose side play France in their opener on Monday — have been at pains to insist that the 33-year-old former England captain was not picked due to fears over his fitness.

Rio Ferdinand

Many believe the Man United star’s non-selection is more to prevent a split in the England squad as fellow centreback John Terry is facing a trial after the tournament for racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother Anton in an EPL game last season.

Terry was stripped of the captaincy because of the impending trial but was selected in the squad.

Blanc, who played alongside Ferdinand at United from 2001-2003, said: “I know Rio Ferdinand well, I think that the choice was not taken for sporting reasons.” 

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