Posted March 21, 2013 on AP on Fox
PLAYERS: Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand has defended his decision to fly to Doha and appear as a television analyst for England's World Cup qualifier, days after ruling himself out of the match because of fitness issues. The Manchester United defender cited the need to follow a ''detailed and pre-planned program'' of fitness for missing Friday's game at San Marino and Tuesday's qualifier against Montenegro. It would have marked his international return after a two-year absence. Instead, he'll be in Qatar to visit the Aspire training academy before working for Al-Jazeera. Ferdinand says in a Twitter post that it's ''no different from what I done on the last 10day international break,'' and says it was ''punditry thrown in for a game I would have watched anyway.''

Ferdinand defends Qatar choice

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...

Blades keeper Long lands gong

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