Rio’s ‘back’


The Rio Ferdinand/Roy Hodgson ‘back’-and-forth took another fantastic twist yesterday.

As you may well know by now because that’s all we’ve spoken about in the last week, Rio Ferdinand was welcomed ‘back’ into the England squad by Roy Hodgson for ‘football reasons’ only to pull out at the death to look after his chronic ‘back’ problem.

Sounds sensible to me until you hear what Rio’s plans are for the next several days. He’s going to fly to Doha, Qatar to work on a TV broadcast of the San Marino/England match he was meant to play in on Friday.

Yep, the United defender has agreed to provide expert analysis for Al Jazeera even though he’ll have to embark on a 15 hour round trip.

No doubt he’ll be travelling first class but wasn’t the point of him pulling out of the squad to have treatment on his ‘back’. Now having tasted the delight of first class travel myself once on a long haul flight, I can attest to the fact that while roomy, it’s still takes a toll.

This feels like the ultimate snub to Hodgson who ate humble pie to bring Rio ‘back’ into the fold. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Rio has turned this into a playground spat that makes him come across as childish.

It’s not as though Ferdinand needs the extra money that being a pundit provides so why cause this controversy?