Roy Hodgson relieved that he has not had to make a decision on Ashley Cole

Last Updated: 10/10/12 6:53am

Ashley Cole: Available for selection and Roy Hodgson is happy to have been spared a tough decision

Roy Hodgson has expressed his satisfaction that the Ashley Cole situation has been resolved after the Football Association accepted the left-back's apology.

Cole, who has made 98 appearances for England, blasted the FA in a foul-mouthed tweet last week after being accused of 'evolving' his statement supporting John Terry's defence against the charge he racially abused Anton Ferdinand.

The tweet plunged Cole's international future into doubt and the FA responded by charging him, but the Chelsea defender was quick to apologise and has said sorry personally to FA chairman David Bernstein.

"I know how disappointed and saddened he is with this situation and I am really quite relieved as an England manager that this matter now has now been totally resolved between the FA and Ashley himself."

Roy Hodgson

Bernstein has confirmed that Cole is free to play in the World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Friday if picked by Hodgson, even if the fine form of Leighton Baines and the option to rest players ahead of Tuesday's clash with Poland does not make it an easy decision.

"It's good to have a selection problem and, more importantly for me, I am very pleased that the chairman has gracefully accepted the apology from Ashley," Hodgson said on Sky Sports News.

"I know how disappointed and saddened he is with this situation and I am really quite relieved as an England manager that this matter now has now been totally resolved between the FA and Ashley himself."

Asked if Cole still had the appetite to play for England, Hodgson added: "Absolutely. We are talking about a man who has played 98 times, he has hardly ever missed a game for England when he has been fit, he has been regarded for many, many years as one of the best, if not the best, left-back in the world, and no-one who is fair-minded could ever criticise Ashley's commitment to England.

"As a result his contrition is the greater because he realises that to some extent he might have put his position in jeopardy, and I am very happy that he hasn't done that."