RIO FERDINAND has jumped to Raheem Sterling’s defence in light of the news from the Football Association that the England player had been dropped from the squad due to “a disturbance in a private team area” at St George’s park.
England boss Gareth Southgate said on Monday (11 November): “We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday (14 November). My feeling is the right thing for the team is the action we have taken.”
Ferdinand criticised the way management dealt with incident via a post on Facebook: “I just feel like this could and should have been handled better to support the player and not hang him out to dry.”
He continued: “One of our world-class players who has conducted himself wonderfully through racism and unwarranted criticism in an England shirt and will now come under more scrutiny and be vilified in the media no doubt- when this could have been dealt with internally. Hindsight is a great thing though.”
The Manchester City player admitted in an Instagram post that “emotions got the better of me”.
Sterling continued: “Both Joe and I have had words and figured things out and moved on.
“We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions get the better of me.”
England play their 1,000th senior men’s international on Thursday. Just one point at Wembley would confirm their place at Euro 2020, with one qualifying game left.