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European Qualifiers Group E

Ferdinand defends Qatar trip

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has stood by his decision to fly to Qatar after pulling out of the England squad.

Last Updated: 22/03/13 at 23:25 Post Comment

Rio Ferdinand: Manchester United defender stands by decision to withdraw from En

Rio Ferdinand: Manchester United defender stands by decision to withdraw from En

The 34-year-old was called up by Roy Hodgson for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

However, he turned down the chance to add to his 81 caps due to his detailed pre-planned training and medical programme for his long-standing back injury.

Ferdinand was then criticised in some quarters after it emerged he was flying to Doha on a 15-hour round trip to appear as a pundit for Al Jazeera Sport television for the San Marino match.

But he said: "I met the boss in London and we spoke about my regime and (I'm doing) what I've done at the last few international breaks - the same.

"I was pencilled in to have certain treatments, had them and then I've come away to have some rest time and to recuperate and get myself ready.

"I think obviously the situation with myself and the national team is well documented.

"But this isn't something that I'm doing differently. This is something I've done in past international get-togethers when I've not been involved.

"I've had a course of treatment that I've had to have and then to go and rest and get ready and recuperate - and that's what I've continued to do."

Ferdinand has not given up hope of appearing for England in the future and revealed he is still very much a part of Hodgson's plans.

"He made it very clear that he'll consider me for the next squads and that will be fantastic," he said.

Ferdinand added he had cleared the trip with United before flying out.

"I spoke to the club and the club doctors and the physios who have helped me organise the regime that I'm on. But ultimately it was spelled out for us anyway," he said.

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f the answer is Matt Phillips, the question should never be Who is one of your major transfer targets?

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