Gareth Southagate Backs Declan Rice After England Switch

Gareth Southgate insists Declan Race doesn’t need to explain his Republic of Ireland to England switch.

The 20 year old switched his allegiance to his country of birth and Southgate included him in his squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.

Rice was touted to be named in the squad following his encouraging performances for West Ham this season. The midfielder has shown ample maturity and determination and has emerged as a pivotal part of Manuel Pellegrini’s first team setup.

Rice played a number of matches for his previous country but none of the appearances came in a competitive match. So according to FIFA rules, he was free to change his country.

Southgate said, “I think it’s easy to be vocal when you haven’t walked in those shoes.

“I think he spoke really eloquently about being somebody of dual heritage and what that means. I saw a really good article that Eni Aluko wrote on that as well.

“For me it was easy, I could only play for England, so there was no question in my mind. And for lots of people that commented, that was the same.

“There were others who have commented, despite the fact that they didn’t play for the country of their birth, so they’ve benefited from some of the rules that are there.”

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