Anorak | Arsenal and Stevenage’s Jack Wilshere v England and Pietermaritzburg’s Kevin Pietersen

Arsenal and Stevenage’s Jack Wilshere v England and Pietermaritzburg’s Kevin Pietersen

by | 10th, October 2013


WHEN Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere (born: Stevenage, Herts) said only English-born players should represent the national team, England cricketer Kevin Pietersen (born: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) tweeted him a question:

“Interested to know how you define foreigner?”Would that include me, [Andrew] Strauss, [Jonathan] Trott, [Matt] Prior, Justin Rose, [Chris] Froome, Mo Farah?”

Pietersen is, as ever, self-aggrandizing. He and Trott ended up playing for England albeit with English ancestry specifically as a result of coming here to pursue a professional career for financial gain. Mo Farah came to the UK when he was boy to live with his British-born father. They are not  the same.

The debate is a huge grey area. But it’s clear that football is viewed in a more cynical light then other sports, where foreign-born players are readily accepted.

And the list Pietersen cites is one of winners. We all love a champion. It’s very easy to adopt a foreigner who was part of a successful team. But what about the others who don’t win but occupy a slot in place of a British-born athlete? Were they cheated?

Pietersen qualified for England through his mother. He served a four-year qualification period.

Wilshere responded:

“With all due respect Mr Pietersen the question was about football. Cricket, cycling, athletics is not my field.”

Pietersen retorted:

“Same difference. It’s about representing your country. IN ANY SPORT.”

The FA is interested in getting Manchester United’s Adnan Januzaj to play for England. He is most likely to play for Kosovo should it ever be recognised by the FA than waits five years to qualify for England. And he’s no refugee. He has no English ancestry. He came on a contract to play for a huge football team.

A few others join the debate:

Darren Gough: “kp mum is English, he has a right to play for England 100 tests

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Posted: 10th, October 2013 | In: Sports Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink