London: England football captain David Beckham begged teammate Gary Neville not to lead a boycott of the side’s crucial Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey in protest the axing from the squad of Rio Ferdinand, The Sun reported on Friday.
Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of supporters believe the FA was right to ban Ferdinand after he failed to undergo a drugs test, according to a poll in the tabloid, Britain’s biggest selling daily.
“I need this like a hole in the head,” Beckham is said to have told Neville, as the pair argued over the issue.
“The two of them had a furious argument, which must have gone on until two in the morning on Wednesday,” a source close to Beckham was quoted as saying. It was a dramatic U-turn after Beckham had earlier voted to strike along with his teammates, the daily said.
“David was never happy with the strike call,” a source close to the England team was quoted as saying.
“He felt the point had been made that the players were unhappy at Rio’s treatment and that they should not have pushed it as far as they did.”