Rio Ferdinand & Hodgson join FA's England commission

The Manchester United defender and Three Lions' boss will be among those who will assess the state of the national game
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand and England manager Roy Hodgson have joined the Football Association's commission to improve the state of the national game.

FA chairman Greg Dyke recently came under fire due to the all-white make-up of the commission but Ferdinand, who retired from international duty in May, now joins the likes of Glenn Hoddle, LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson and former Leeds United defender Danny Mills.

Dyke has revealed that talks with Ferdinand have been ongoing "for some time", and feel his 17 years as a professional footballer, along with Hodgson's role as England's head coach, will prove key to the commission's findings.

Dyke said in an official statement: "It is important Roy can offer his views as the current manager of the national team and share the knowledge he has gained when working for many years in a number of countries. I wanted the international fixtures to be completed before announcing this to avoid any distractions for Roy at such an important time.

"Rio's vast experience as a player developed through West Ham's successful youth system, winning Premier League and European titles with Manchester United and representing England at World Cups means he has a huge amount to offer to the debate.

"We have been speaking to Rio and Manchester United for some time about him joining the group - before we named the other members of the Commission. However, as he is a current Manchester United player we needed to be sure that Rio had the necessary time to fully participate on the commission and not impact on his day job. It has been agreed he does.

"As a current player with forthright views and opinions on the game, we can look forward to Rio providing significant insight and experience.

"We will then begin the process of meeting and canvassing opinions from numerous people in football and sport from a wide-range of backgrounds, as the Commission collects evidence and information with a view to reaching conclusions and making recommendations.

"It is important we do not lose sight of the Commission’s main purpose. That is - finding a way of delivering long-term success for the England men’s senior team, particularly by identifying ways to increase the number of players available to the national team playing regularly at the highest level of English football or abroad."