Steven Gerrard has insisted that England supporters were well within their rights to jeer Rio Ferdinand during the 8-0 victory over San Marino on Friday night.
Manchester United defender Ferdinand had been called up to the squad for the first time since 2011, but opted to withdraw soon after because of a "pre-planned training and medical programme". He then decided to fly to Qatar to work as a pundit on the match for a local television station.
That resulted in a less than favourable reaction from fans of the Three Lions, who sang negative songs about the centre-back.
However, rather than stand up for Ferdinand, Gerrard has admitted that the travelling faithful are "entitled" to voice their opinions.
"I think the fans have shown their frustration about Rio not being here," The Sun quotes Gerrard as saying. "They're entitled to their opinion, they pay good money to come over here.
"We all wanted Rio here because he's a good player and he would have helped us over these two games. But he's made his decision and we have to respect that."
Reports have since suggested that Ferdinand will not be considered by coach Roy Hodgson again.