18/03/2013 13:10,

Rio out of England squad

The Football Association released the following statement at 13:10 today (Monday)...

Rio Ferdinand has been forced to withdraw from England's forthcoming fixtures with San Marino and Montenegro.

The decision was taken following a meeting in London on Sunday evening with Rio Ferdinand and England manager Roy Hodgson. At the meeting Rio confirmed he wants to continue playing for England and to be selected for summer and autumn fixtures. Hodgson said: "I'm disappointed Rio will not be available, but due to the detailed pre-planned training and medical programme he must follow it's not possible.

"However, I was pleased that Rio called and asked to meet with me. It was important to hear from him personally about the way he must manage his body between games. This is not to say he cannot play back to back games - he can and has proven so. He's out this time due to particular pre-planned details already in place for his programme. I must place on record how I was impressed with his commitment to playing for England and I look forward to hopefully selecting him for squads in the future."

Rio Ferdinand said: "It was important for me to be able to speak with Roy face to face and explain the situation, and one thing I made clear was that my passion and commitment to represent my country is as strong as ever. It is disappointing that I won't be able to play a part in the upcoming games but I told Roy that I want to continue to be available for England and I look forward to working with him in the future."

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