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Football: Ferdinand withdraws from England squad

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has pulled out of the England squad for the World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Montenegro, national team coach Roy Hodgson announced on Monday.

Ferdinand had been called up by Hodgson for the first time, but despite withdrawing from the squad, he has told the England manager that he still wants to play international football.

"I'm disappointed Rio will not be available, but due to the detailed pre-planned training and medical programme he must follow it's not possible," said Hodgson, who met Ferdinand in London on Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Steven Caulker has been drafted into the senior squad from the under-21s to take Ferdinand's place.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130318/football-ferdinand-withdraws-from-england-squad