England are playing San Marino in a World Cup qualifier on Friday, and a certain Manchester United defender won’t be there. He’ll be in Doha to teach football and do some punditry.
You should be aware of course Rio Ferdinand’s ability to get on a plane and go to Qatar is somehow commensurate with not following the club fitness programme that ostensibly prevented him from playing for Hodgson’s squad, or so says somebody I guess. From the Guardian:
Rio Ferdinand has defended his decision to fly out to Qatar in the week he withdrew from the England squad in order to follow a pre-planned fitness programme.
The Manchester United defender Ferdinand was called up by the 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.
Anyway, speaking of Qatar, do you know there might have to be a revote? That was Sepp Blatter’s rogue opinion in any case, relayed in the Telegraph:
Spanish newspaper AS claim in an interview that Blatter admitted that would “affect the basic conditions of the World Cup” and could prompt the voting process to be re-visited if one of the other 2022 candidates objected.
However, world governing body Fifa dispute the content of the interview and say Blatter said it was a “hypothetical scenario” as the dates of the World Cup will be decided on by the tournament organising committee.
Why Blatter would stick his neck out to suggest the possibility is something worth looking into for another time…
Ferdinand defends Qatar trip.
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