Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has dismissed criticism of his decision to fly to Qatar to work as a television pundit.
The 34-year-old withdrew from Roy Hodgson’s squad for the World Cup qualifying double header against San Marino and Montenegro, citing his need to follow an ‘intricate pre-planned programme’ to stay fit.
The Peckham-born centre-back was widely criticised when it emerged that he would travel to the Middle East during the international break to comment on Friday’s clash against San Marino on television.
But Ferdinand has defended his actions on Twitter, writing: “I’ve flown out for some pre-planned downtime … with a bit of punditry thrown in for a game I would have watched anyway.
“Haters are gonna hate … also assume everything … although it must be the gospel truth based on assumptions.
“No different from what I did in the last 10 day international break … thank you guys.”
Ferdinand won the last of his 81 England caps during a Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland back in 2011.