The attrition from England's Euro 2012 roster continued on Thursday after Tottenham striker, Jermain Defoe flew home after his father, Jimmy lost his battle with throat cancer last night.

Unfortunately, Defoe's departure gives the feeling that Hodgson and his England team are cursed. Disaster, most of it self-inflicted, besets the hapless England blunderer at every turn. Hodgson has become the captain of England's Titanic.

Into the fray English Football Association chairman, David Bernstein has stumbled. Instead of steadying the ship and injecting some integrity and sense into a surreal situation, he poured fuel on the situation by making an ill judged and prickly rebuff to reporters repeatedly asking about the Ferdinand affair.

"We spent a long while building up to this tournament,' Bernstein said. 'We're here to talk about the tournament, about the 23 players who are here and I'm not prepared to discuss at all--any players who are not here."

To refuse to allow any mention of it smacks of a cover up which is something that the FA is very good at. Of course, Bernstein is no friend of any Manchester United players after serving as chairman of their bitter rivals, Manchester City.

In a further development, Sol Campbell, himself an ex-captain of England who played alongside Ferdinand, has written in the Guardian that he feels that the decision to leave out Ferdinand was not for football reasons. He also believes that if it turns out that Ferdinand was left out because of the racism row involving John Terry and Anton Ferdinand, he would return all of his England caps and have his record of playing for England expunged.

Campbell's comments are written in the strongest possible terms and underline a strong reaction from anti-racism groups fighting for a more proactive response from the authorities. They will have been disappointed at Bernstein's stonewalling.

Curiously, Hodgson will not be available for press conferences until the eve of the first match on Monday, when he hopes that the row will have subsided. He will be in for a nasty surprise. Of course, the FA can attempt to ban any questions about the Ferdinand affair, which will only add to the conspiracy theories.

In the meantime, we can, of course, expect the usual bland comments from players hand picked in pre-match press conferences to tow the FA line.