Roy Hodgson has claimed he did not pick Rio Ferdinand for England's Euro 2012 squad because he does not think the experienced defender should be a substitute.
There has been a furore over Ferdinand's continued exclusion from the squad, even after the initial snub, with the defender repeatedly ignored behind Phil Jagielka, Jordan Henderson and Martin Kelly.
Hodgson says it would have been wrong to have him in his European Championship squad and not in the starting XI.
Decision: Roy Hodgson (left) says Rio Ferdinand is too high calibre for the subs bench
The England manager told ITV: 'Rio Ferdinand for me is not a player that you call up as a substitute, or to cover for the players that you have.
'We turned to Martin Kelly because I knew he was going to be someone who would be very useful to us.
'He's very happy to be here knowing that his chances of playing a big part in the tournament are quite small.
'You don't turn to people like Rio Ferdinand for that.'
The backlash against Ferdinand's omission has threatened to overshadow England's Euro 2012 campaign, which they begin on Monday.
Hodgson insisted when naming his original squad that the 33-year-old was left out for 'football reasons'.
Cities & Stadiums
The Top 3 Teams of Previous Tournaments
|2008||Spain||Germany||Russia / Turkey|
|2004||Greece||Portugal||Netherlands / Czech Republic|
|2000||France||Italy||Netherlands / Portugal|
|1996||Germany||Czech Republic||France / England|
|1992||Denmark||Germany||Netherlands / Sweden|
|1988||Netherlands||Soviet Union||Italy / West Germany|
|1984||France||Spain||Denmark / Portugal|
|1972||West Germany||Soviet Union||Belgium|