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Ince upset over Ferdinand omission


ENGLAND’S FIRST black football captain Paul Ince has criticised the Three Lions manager’s decision not to pick Rio Ferdinand for the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

Ferdinand was not selected by England boss Roy Hodgson in the initial 23-man squad and was not brought into the team despite an injury ruling defender Gary Cahill out of the tournament.

Further eyebrows were raised when Liverpool’s Martin Kelly was called up to replace Cahill instead of Ferdinand.

Fellow England defender John Terry was charged of racially abusing Ferdinand’s younger brother Anton and many believe that Rio’s omission happened to prevent tension in the squad.

Hodgson had claimed that the 33-year-old Ferdinand was not chosen because of ‘footballing reasons’ but Paul Ince, who played for England 53 times from 1992-2000, believes that is not the case.

Ince, 44, told The Telegraph: “How can it be football reasons? Rio has played more or less every game since January and he has been absolutely outstanding.

“With respect, please don’t tell me he is not the seventh best centre-half in this country. As far as I’m concerned he is probably the best centre-half in our country. So explain to me why the best centre-half in our country is not going to Euro 2012 for football reasons?”

He added: “I don’t get that. It cannot be for football-related reasons and, therefore, the Football Association and Roy should have been up front from the start.”

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