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Jack Wilshere: Only English players should play for England

Jack Wilshere took to twitter yesterday and controversially said "he only people who should play for England are English people. If...

Jack Wilshere Scotland

Jack Wilshere took to twitter yesterday and controversially said "he only people who should play for England are English people. If you live in England for five years it doesn’t make you English”.

Midfielder Januzaj, 18, is eligible for Belgium, Serbia, Albania and Turkey.

But, asked about the issue, Arsenal and England midfielder Wilshere said: "If you live in England for five years it doesn't make you English."

The 21-year-old added: "We have to remember what we are. We are English. We tackle hard, are tough on the pitch and are hard to beat. 

"We have great characters. You think of Spain and you think technical but you think of England and you think they are brave and they tackle hard. We have to remember that.

"The only people who should play for England are English people. If I went to Spain and lived there for five years, I'm not going to play for Spain."

Later on Wednesday, the 21-year-old Arsenal player took to Twitter to say his comments had not been about Januzaj.

"I wasn't referring to Januzaj," he said. "The question was should foreign players be allowed to play for England, and in my opinion I don't think they should. He is a great player. I wish he was English."

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger is backing Jack Wilshere's statement.

Speaking to BBC, the French man said "I agree with him. I always said also an Englishman should manage the England team."

The Frenchman warned that national teams risk replicating clubs, who buy players to represent them regardless of their passport or nationality. 

Wilshere, who has 10 England caps, said his comments were not in reference to Januzaj, who England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed he is monitoring.

South Africa-born England cricketer Kevin Pietersen responded to Wilshere's comments by asking the Gunners player: "Interested to know how you define foreigner...? Would that include me, [former England cricket captain Andrew] Strauss, [cricketer Jonathan] Trott, [cricketer Matt Prior, [golfer] Justin Rose, [cyclist Chris] Froome, [runner] Mo Farah?
 qtZX4Bd Give it up Jack! Arsenals Jack Wilshere argues with Kevin Pietersen on Twitter regarding nationality
"Same difference.. It's about representing your country! IN ANY SPORT!"

And later on Wednesday, Wilshere sought to clarify his original remarks:  "To be clear, never said 'born in England' - I said English people should play for England. Great respect for people like KP [Kevin Pietersen], Mo Farah [born in Somalia] and Wilf Zaha [born in Ivory Coast] - they make the country proud.

"My view on football - going to a new country when you're an adult, and because you can get a passport you play for that national team - I disagree."

 

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