London: Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand`s decision to pull out of the England squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers has most probably signalled an end to his international career.
Ferdinand on Monday delivered a humiliating and potentially damaging snub to boss Roy Hodgson by turning down the chance to play for England in order to safeguard his United future, the Telegraph reports.
Four days after being named in Hodgson`s squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro, the second of which is key to England`s hopes of reaching the 2014 finals in Brazil, Ferdinand announced that he had rejected the chance to end his two-year exile from international football," it reported.
"With an agreement yet to be reached with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson over a new contract to extend his stay at Old Trafford beyond the end of the season, Ferdinand was not prepared to jeopardise his club position by risking either his fitness or Ferguson`s support," the paper said.
The Football Association (FA) issued a statement on Monday, which did not say Ferdinand was injured but said instead that the player could not interrupt his pre-planned training and medical programme with United, it added.
Ferdinand`s withdrawal has also raised questions over Hodgson`s judgment following his failure to contact United or the player prior to his selection in an effort to gauge his readiness to play, the paper concluded.
First Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 12:54