Rio Ferdinand has defended his decision to fly out to Qatar in the week he withdrew from the England squad due to his fitness routine.
Manchester United defender Ferdinand was called up by England manager Roy Hodgson for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro but pulled out on Monday, citing the need to follow the fitness plan laid out by his club.
It has now emerged that the 34-year-old will visit the Aspire training academy in Doha and then appear as a pundit for Al Jazeera television in the Gulf state for the San Marino match on Friday night.
Ferdinand wrote on Twitter: "1) Flown out for some pre-planned downtime...with a bit of punditry thrown in for a game I would have watched anyway.
"2) No different from what I done on the last 10day international break...thank you guys.
"Haters are gonna hate...also assume everything...although it must be the gospel truth based on assumptions!"
Ferdinand's call-up, which came as a surprise to the player and his club, was his first involvement with the national team since he won his 81st cap in a Euro 2012 qualifier at home to Switzerland in June 2011.
The defender was controversially left out of the squad for the finals in Poland and Ukraine last summer, with England boss Roy Hodgson insisting it was for football reasons.
The Ferdinand family had been at the centre of a long-running racism row with John Terry, who was picked for Euro 2012 but has since retired from international football, and the Manchester United player believed that was the real reason behind his omission.
Hodgson was keen to stress on Monday that the door remained open to Ferdinand for future matches, and he reaffirmed his desire to play for England again.
The defender said: "One thing I made clear was that my passion and commitment to represent my country is as strong as ever.
"It is disappointing that I won't be able to play a part in the upcoming games but I told Roy that I want to continue to be available for England and I look forward to working with him in the future."
what do you think?
Hodgson should just tell him that he's not being considered again for reasons of lack of commitment.
I think that representing your country should take priority over punditry for a foreign t.v channel. I think it smacks of childish tantrums.
Why? The way he's been treated by Hodgson over the last 12 months, To arrogant to phone or speak to him so why should he be used.
Ferdinand used Manchester United, he got paid for not playing a game for months after failing to turn up for a drugs test.
This is about england not his life hiostory
Where did life history come from ? Fact is Ferdinand treated his employers badly, now it appears as if he himself has been treated badly too, oh dear how life can be cruel.
So you will be doing the same during the next international break and the next so stop treating the international team and manager with contempt and quit international football
Thousands of supporters pay to see clowns like this and then defend them when the muck starts to fly, I`m sure someone will be along to defend him.
Probably said this before, but who cares????
You. as you clicked on the story
Was that supposed to be intelligent trolling?
He can barely put a coherent sentence together. The fact he's been asked to be a pundit is comical.
He's a millionaire your an idiot!!!
Ooooh, children, keep the teddies in the cot.