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Gerrard vows to 'make amends' by playing on for England

Steven Gerrard yesterday said he has no intention of quitting international football. Gerrard, who captained England during their woeful World Cup campaign in the absence of the injured Rio Ferdinand, said the 4-1 defeat to Germany would not be the final game for his country.

"There is no way I want the disappointment of the Germany game to be my last for England," Gerrard said. "It was such a low and I am determined to do as much as I can to make amends for what happened.

"I expect there to be a lot of changes to the squad and it is up to the manager whether I am selected, but I am going to continue to make myself available for my country," he declared

Gerrard, 30, has 84 caps and has scored 17 goals for England. His Liverpool team-mate Jamie Carragher, who was persuaded to come out of international retirement by the England manager, Fabio Capello, for the World Cup, has said he will no longer be available for selection.

Facebook, meanwhile, has denied reports that it is in advanced talks with the Football Association about becoming the new major sponsor of the England team. The social networking website was reportedly one of four firms pitching for the contract, as English football's governing body hopes to replace its £20m deal with Nationwide. The building society is set to discontinue its backing at the end of this month after withdrawing an offer tabled to the FA before the World Cup.

Telecommunication giants 02 and Orange, along with banking group Santander, were named as the others on the shortlist, but Facebook has categorically deniedit is in talks with the FA and labelled the speculation "bizarre".

In a statement released to The Sport Briefing, it said: "Facebook is not in talks with the England football team regarding sponsorship." A spokesperson added: "I don't know where it has come from but it is not true. It's bizarre. We obviously work with lots of different brands and the FA have used the Facebook platform and the England team have a page.

"We've obviously been talking to them about those sorts of things, just like any other brand."

Facebook is one of several blue chip companies that have moved to end the speculation linking it with becoming new England team sponsor.

02, one of those reportedly on the FA's four-company shortlist, told The Sport Briefing that it is "complete speculation" and reiterated that "we are not in talks".

The supermarket chains Morrisons and Sainsbury's also played down speculation that they could fill the void.

A spokesman for the former, an official partner of England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup, insisted that "it is just rumour and speculation".

Meanwhile, Sainsbury's – a former official supermarket of the England national team – insisted that it was "concentrating on Paralympic sponsorship for London 2012 rather than anything else".

Source: Independent

Belfast Telegraph