Rio Ferdinand has defended his decision to fly out to Qatar in the week he withdrew from the England squad due to his fitness routine.
Manchester United defender Ferdinand was called up by England manager Roy Hodgson for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro but pulled out on Monday, citing the need to follow the fitness plan laid out by his club.
It has now emerged that the 34-year-old will visit the Aspire training academy in Doha and then appear as a pundit for Al Jazeera television in the Gulf state for the San Marino match on Friday night.
Ferdinand wrote on Twitter: "1) Flown out for some pre-planned downtime...with a bit of punditry thrown in for a game I would have watched anyway.
"2) No different from what I done on the last 10day international break...thank you guys.
"Haters are gonna hate...also assume everything...although it must be the gospel truth based on assumptions!"
Ferdinand's call-up, which came as a surprise to the player ...