England or Ireland? Declan Rice’s difficult decision was about identity | Eni Aluko


Many people believe it is about picking a county and sticking with it but when your heritage is dual it is tricky

It was intriguing to see the mixed reaction to Declan Rice’s decision to commit his international future to England over the Republic of Ireland. I don’t think people fully appreciate how difficult it can be to have two nationalities in football and the kind of stigma that can come with it – especially for someone who is only 20. Rice broached the issue of respect for his dual heritage so eloquently and honestly in his public statement, which I am sure will bring him respect for his decision in return.

There will be a lot of Irish fans who were disappointed and offended by his decision but for me it is not necessarily a question of choosing an allegiance. There is an either/or culture in football that is polarising. Many believe it is about picking a side and sticking with it but when your heritage is essentially both it is difficult. For example, I’m both British and Nigerian. In the same way as someone like Adam Lallana has family roots in Spain. If you dig a little deeper there are so many English players with Welsh or Scottish heritage. We’re not just one dimensional. Raheem Sterling is another example. He is proud of his Jamaican roots but plays for England and is proud of that too.

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Source: Football News
Link : England or Ireland? Declan Rice’s difficult decision was about identity | Eni Aluko

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