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England boss Hodgson backs San Marino stay

England manager Roy Hodgson believes minnows San Marino do indeed have a place in international football.

Plenty of critics have suggested that the tiny nation, with a population of 32,000, should not be recognised by FIFA after winning just one match since becoming a member in 1990 but Hodgson has defended them after his side cruised past Giampaolo Mazza's La Serenissima 5-0 at Wembley in World Cup qualifying.

"It's up to UEFA and FIFA to decide which countries are allowed into their competitions," he said.

"San Marino have been in the Euros and the World Cup for some years.

"They play the way they play and do the best they can with the resources they have.

"We knew it was going to be attack versus defence.

"But I watched their matches against Montenegro and Moldova and it was a lot less attack against defence than our game.

"We can't accuse them of playing a dirty game of football.

"There weren't too many vicious fouls. There was one, which is the one which bothers us.

"But I wouldn't suggest they shouldn't be allowed in the competition."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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