However many believe it was to avoid potential conflict with John Terry, who is to stand trial in July over a charge he racially abused Ferdinand’s brother Anton, which the Chelsea captain denies.
“First of all, they’re all good footballers. But secondly, Roy has rock-solid knowledge when it comes to the players’ current form,” said Eriksson, who was in charge of the England team from 2001-2006.
“Personally, I just find the whole thing to be quite silly.”
Tottenham playmaker Rafael van der Vaart was surprised by the absence of Ferdinand and described him as ‘still one of the best defenders in England and maybe in the world,’ but former Spurs boss David Pleat and ex-England internationals John Barnes and Danny Mills have also been among those to back Hodgson’s decision.
“I do understand Rio’s disappointment,” Eriksson said. “He was an incredibly important player for me in three tournaments, but we mustn’t forget the injuries he has suffered this season.
“Roy has his reasons, otherwise he would not have rejected Rio – twice.
“It has been an entirely football-based decision. That’s all there is to it. Remember, this is England. No squad is ever selected without criticism.”