ROY Hodgson insisted that he is focused on footballing matters as he explained the selection of John Terry and the omission of Rio Ferdinand in his England squad for this summer’s European Championship.
• Roy Hodgson keen to avoid dressing room tension
• Steven Gerrard to captain England in Poland and Ukraine
• Andy Carroll preferred over other Premier League strikers
Terry was selected despite the July court case awaiting him regarding allegations that he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, which Terry denies.
Ferdinand’s elder brother Rio being left out of the squad will help to avoid any tension that could have stemmed from the pair sharing a dressing room in Poland and Ukraine.
The impending court case also saw Terry stripped of the captaincy by the Football Association, a decision which saw Fabio Capello resign his post and Hodgson eventually succeed him. Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard will captain England this summer.
Hodgson said: “If we take the court case first of all, that’s obviously very unfortunate for him but we must emphasise he is an innocent man until such time as he is proven guilty.
“My decision with John Terry was based purely on footballing matters, I was given a free hand as to the squad I picked.
“I realised that when I selected him there would be people who would raise eyebrows but that’s the decision that I’ve made, that’s the decision I shall live with.”
He continued: “I selected John Terry for footballing reasons and I left out Rio Ferdinand for footballing reasons.
“I’ve spoken to both of them of course. I had to do that.
“In the last couple of days I’ve spoken to both of them and explained to them why I’ve come to the decision.”
England squad for Euro 2012:
Goalkeepers - Green (West Ham), Hart (Man City) Ruddy (Norwich).
Defenders - Baines (Everton), Cahill (Chelsea), Cole (Chelsea), Johnson (Liverpool), Jones (Man Utd), Lescott (Man City), Terry (Chelsea).
Midfielders - Barry (Man City), Downing (Liverpool), Gerrard (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Milner (Man City), Parker (Tottenham), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Walcott (Arsenal), Young (Man Utd).
Forwards - Carroll (Liverpool), Rooney (Man Utd), Welbeck (Man Utd), Defoe (Tottenham).