Blanc: Rio omission not a football decision
England boss Roy Hodgson omitted the experienced central defender from his original 23 citing a "footballing decision" and again snubbed him when Gary Cahill was ruled out, calling up Liverpool reserve right-back Martin Kelly instead.
Critics have said Ferdinand has been dropped because of tensions with fellow central defender John Terry, who has been picked but faces a court case next month after being charged with racially abusing Ferdinand's brother Anton.
The Chelsea captain has pleaded not guilty over the alleged incident in a match against Queens Park Rangers.
"From afar, I do not think it was a decision based on sport," Blanc told a news conference ahead of his side meeting England in their Group D opener on Monday.
Blanc, who played with injury-prone Ferdinand for Manchester United in 2002/03, said the decision to omit him was "surprising".