Rio Ferdinand will do TV for England game after withdrawing

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Rio Ferdinand (right) hasn't played for England since June 2011.

Rio Ferdinand (right) hasn't played for England since June 2011.

Rio Ferdinand has defended his decision to fly to Doha and appear as a television analyst for England's World Cup qualifier against San Marino, days after ruling himself out of the match over fitness issues.

The Manchester United defender cited the need to follow a "detailed and pre-planned program'' of fitness as the reason for missing Friday's game at San Marino and Tuesday's qualifier against Montenegro, which would have marked his international return after a two-year absence.

Instead, he'll be in Qatar, visiting the Aspire training academy before working for Al-Jazeera.

Ferdinand says in a Twitter post that it's "no different from what I done on the last 10day international break,'' and says it was "punditry thrown in for a game I would have watched anyway.''