Originally written on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 11/13/14
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.''
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