Ferdinand learned he was not going to be selected yesterday after Hodgson made some rather loose comments to a fellow passenger on the Tube heading to Arsenal’s Champions League encounter with Olympiacos at the Emirates Stadium.
In addition to confirming the 33-year-old was not going to be selected for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino (a week today) and Poland (October 16), Hodgson also indicated Ferdinand’s international career was over despite John Terry’s retirement from England duty.
The words underlined Hodgson’s squad announcement, in which there was no place for Ferdinand but a recall for Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross, whose only previous call-up came under Fabio Capello in 2010.
Hodgson acknowledged he had made a mistake imparting such information to a random member of the public. While he was unable to make contact with Ferdinand yesterday, the England coach intends to make amends, even if the brutal reality is the defender’s 81-cap England career is almost certainly over.
“I have tried to get in touch with Rio,” said Hodgson. “I am disappointed that a stray conversation has been reported in that way.
“I didn’t say Rio’s career was over. I might have admitted, foolishly I guess, and I only have myself to blame, that I wasn’t going to choose him in this squad.
“I am just disappointed this could be seen as a lack of respect to Rio which is something I would shy away from.
“I have the utmost respect for him, as a person and a player.
“It is not for me to call time on anyone’s career. I would never dream of calling time on anyone’s career.
“It is up to an individual player to decide if he doesn’t want to play any more and when I speak to Rio I will make that very clear to him.
“But the bottom line is I am sticking to my guns. I am staying with the players I selected for the Euros and I am looking to the future.”
Hodgson has also named Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster in his England squad.
England squad: Hart (Man City), Ruddy (Norwich), Forster (Celtic); Baines (Everton), Cahill (Chelsea), Cole (Chelsea), Gibbs (Arsenal), Jagielka (Everton), G Johnson (Liverpool), Lescott (Man City), Shawcross (Stoke), Walker (Tottenham); Carrick (Man United), Cleverley (Man United), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Gerrard (Liverpool), A Johnson (Sunderland), Lennon (Tottenham), Lampard (Chelsea), Milner (Manchester City), Walcott (Arsenal); Carroll (West Ham, on loan from Liverpool), Defoe (Tottenham), Rooney (Man United), Welbeck (Man United).