England midfielder Jack Wilshere has stirred a debate
about foreign-born players in football, declaring that only “English people”
should be eligible to represent the national team.
Wilshere’s stance was immediately
described as “too extreme” by the head of the English Football Association.
The issue of foreign-born players being
selected by England resurfaced after the FA said it was looking into whether
Manchester United’s Belgium-born midfielder Adnan Januzaj could play for
The 18-year-old Januzaj, who joined
United in 2011, scored twice on
his Premier League debut on Saturday, leading his side to a 2-1 win over
Januzaj could become eligible for England
in 2018 on residency grounds if he hasn’t played for a senior national team in
a competitive fixture by then. He has so far declined to play for Belgium.
Because of his parents’ heritage, he is also eligible to represent Serbia,
Albania and Turkey, as well as Kosovo, which is not yet recognized by FIFA.
Wilshere, one of England’s top young
stars, does not believe players such as Januzaj should be allowed to pull on an
“The only people who
should play for England are English people,” the Arsenal player said