Wednesday, 9 October 2013


The Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has spoken out against footballers not born in England playing for the national team.

The comments come after speculation that England might select Manchester United's eighteen year old winger Adnan Januzaj in the future. Januzaj, born in Brussels to Kosavar parents, is also eligible to play for Albania, Belgium and Serbia. There has been a similar debate in Test cricket where South Africans play for England, Pakistanis for South Africa and Australia etc.

I don't have a problem with sportsmen representing the country they live in rather than the one they were born in, especially when they or their parents have fled their homes because of war or violence. In football, South Americans played for Italy in the 30's, helping them to win their first World Cup, and in the 60's Real Madrid's Ferenc Puskas from Hungary and Alfredo Di Stefano from Argentina both played for Spain.

1 comment:

  1. Jack Wilshere may not want to face competition from abroad, but personal motives aside, I suppose the concern is that national teams may cease to have any connection with the countries under whose flag of convenience they play, just as local football teams, consisting as they do of guns for hire from across the world nowadays have no real connection (other than location) with the towns and cities under whose names they play.