Cahill out of Euros

England’s already-depleted squad for Euro 2012 lost another key member when Gary Cahill had to withdraw with a broken jaw. The Chelsea defender sustained the injury in a collision with goalkeeper Joe Hart in the Wembley win over Belgium.

Cahill had struck up a defensive partnership with John Terry that defied the mighty Barcelona in the Champions League, and England manager Roy Hodgson wanted to repeat that at the Euros. Instead it now looks like Joleon Lescott will partner Terry.

Hodgson resisted the temptation to put out a call to Rio Ferdinand, instead drafting in the inexperienced Liverpool full back Martin Kelly as emergency cover. Ferdinand’s agent Jamie Moralee was incensed. "Lampard, Terry, Barry, Gerrard all ageing but they go to the tournament," Moralee said, somewhat inaccurately, as Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry have withdrawn. "Why is Rio different? To treat a player that has captained and served his country 81 times is nothing short of disgraceful. Total lack of respect from Hodgson and the FA as far as I am concerned."

It does fuel the suspicion that Ferdinand was left out because of Terry’s pending court case on charges of racially abusing Rio’s younger brother Anton. With England’s dearth of experience in defence, the omission of Ferdinand is harder to explain in football terms.

The villain of the piece was the Belgian forward Dries Mertens, whose push caused Cahill’s injury. "I sincerely apologise for the harm I've caused to Cahill," Mertens said. "When in the heat of the moment, you often don't think about the consequences."

The consequences could be ominous for England.

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