Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) chief executive Ged Grebby has condemned England over their decision to leave Rio Ferdinand out of Euro 2012.
The Manchester United centre-back was snubbed by Roy Hodgson when he announced his initial 23-man squad in May, with the former West Brom manager insisting the decision was purely down to ‘footballing reasons’.
A jaw injury to Gary Cahill in the friendly win over Belgium on Saturday, that subsequently led to the Chelsea defender having to withdraw from the travelling party, could have seen Ferdinand come into contention for a call-up, but Hodgson opted for Liverpool youngster Martin Kelly.
Grebby, who founded the SRTRC charity in 1996, has labelled the decision to overlook Ferdinand as ‘strange’ and believes the one-time Leeds United star will want answers when the tournament in Poland and Ukraine comes to a close.
“We support Rio and his agent,” Grebby told Goal.com. “The logic has been to get on with the tournament but Rio’s comments, and what his agent has said, are right. If it was purely footballing reasons then what’s the reason behind Gary Cahill’s replacement?
“It’s a strange decision (to leave Rio Ferdinand out of the squad) to say the least and Rio will want to know what’s gone on after the tournament.”
There have been suggestions that Ferdinand’s exclusion from the squad is linked to the presence of John Terry among the 23 and, with the Chelsea skipper’s court case for allegedly racially abusing Ferdinand’s younger brother, Anton, set to begin on July 9, Grebby feels the 31-year-old should have been suspended.
“If John Terry was in an ordinary work place with good trade union policies he would have initially been suspended on full pay and now that it’s gone to court, suspended to the outcome of the case in July,” he said.
“The FA acted initially by dropping him as captain. Every England fan wants to move on and if it was a footballing decision it becomes even stranger after Cahill dropped out.
“No disrespect to Martin Kelly but to leave out someone with 81 England caps who has played without injury for Manchester United since January is strange.”
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