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FA Cup quarterfinal draw

FA Cup

Ferdinand accepts Hodgson apology

Rio Ferdinand has accepted an apology from Roy Hodgson after the England manager's off-the-cuff London Underground conversation that appeared to end the defender's hopes of an international recall.

A red-faced Hodgson was forced to issue a public apology to Ferdinand, 33, on Thursday after he told passengers on a tube train that the Manchester United man would not be in his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.

The Football Association have confirmed that Hodgson left a personal message on the player's voicemail, as well as texts and calls to representatives apologising to him, and that the apology has been duly accepted.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand is running out of allies in his increasingly doomed bid to re-launch his international career, with Harry Redknapp the latest high-profile figure to suggest he should not play for his country again.

Redknapp's suggestion that Ferdinand would be wise to call time on his England career will come as something of a surprise. The former Tottenham manager has long been a big admirer of the centre back he nurtured in his days as West Ham boss, but he has backed Hodgson's decision to opt for younger defensive options.

"If Rio was in his prime then this would be a bombshell, but he should listen to his body," Redknapp told The Sun. "At this time of his life, does Rio really need trips with England? I don't think he needs all that aggro any more. He still has a couple of years left in him at the very top level, maybe more if he is not playing for England.

"Concentrate on playing for your club. Focus on that and he probably won't miss England. He's not exactly been a regular for a while now and has had his injuries."

Redknapp's comments echo the sentiments of Ferdinand's Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who has suggested his injury prone defender would be wise to turn his back on national service for the remainder of his career.


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