Rio Ferdinand and Roy Hodgson join England Commission

Rio Ferdinand has joined the England Commission. Picture: Getty
Rio Ferdinand has joined the England Commission. Picture: Getty
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Greg Dyke has moved to try to end the revolt that has engulfed the Football Association by announcing Rio Ferdinand and Roy Hodgson will join his England Commission.

Dyke’s first crisis since he took over as FA chairman came after FA board member Heather Rabbatts publicly criticised the all-white and all-male make-up of the commission.

Rabbatts was backed by anti-discrimination groups, with sports and equalities minister Helen Grant also expressing concern, and it led to a frantic weekend for the FA before it ­finally was able to announce the appointment of Manchester United defender Ferdinand and England manager Hodgson yesterday afternoon.

Dyke is understood to have e-mailed all board members to consult them about the appointments – something he was criticised for failing to do before announcing the first eight names on his commission, none of whom were from an ethnic minority.

The appointment of Ferdinand – who was an outspoken critic of the handling of the John Terry racism case – can be seen as a victory for Rabbatts, though Dyke insisted that the FA had been in talks with Ferdinand for some time.

Dyke said: “Rio’s vast experience as a player, winning Premier League and European titles with Manchester United and representing England at World Cups means he has a huge amount to offer to the debate.

“We have been speaking to Rio and Manchester United for some time about him joining the group.”

The appointment of England manager Hodgson had been delayed until after the end of the World Cup qualifiers.

Dyke added: “It is important Roy can offer his views as the current manager of the national team and share the knowledge he has gained when working for many years in a number of ­countries.”