Jack Wilshere, England and Passports

10 October 2013 09:51

Jack Wilshere this week made a slightly controversial comment regarding who should be able play for the English national side. He is to have side 'only English players should play for England'. While this seems like an obvious statement, what he meant boils down to national sides been able to call up players who may have been born in a different country.

It came to light after England boss Roy Hodgson said he had been monitioring Manchester United's young star Adnan Januzaj. The Belgian-born moved to the Premier League Champions back in 2011 from Anderlecht for £300,000. However, Manchester United have other players who have represented England and had to option to represent another country, striker Danny Welbeck could have played for Ghana and Wilfred Zaha, the Ivory Coast, but Wilshere has come out further and stated 'to be clear, never said 'born in England' – I said English people should play for England'. Jack said that he disagrees with the idea of a player moving to another country and being eligible for the national side due to having lived there for 5 years.

The rule has been questioned a lot, the rule which FIFA allow a player to player for another country if he/she has lived in the country for 5 years or if a parent or grandparent were born in the country.

Wilshere's boss and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has come out and backed his midfielder's comments while adding 'an Englishman should manage the England team'.

But across the sporting world, we see sports men and women 'choose' another nationality. The Olympics in 2012 saw Mo Farah, of a Somalian background, win 2 gold medals for Great Britain. Kevin Pietersen who has captained the England cricket team was born in South Africa and these athletes play with pride just as much as any other 'English' player.


Source: DSG