Former Republic of Ireland international and TV pundit Kevin Kilbane says Declan Rice’s decision to switch his allegiance to England “makes a mockery” of international football.
The 20-year-old, whose grandparents hail from Cork, won three Irish caps last year but is now in line for a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s squad for next month’s European Championship qualifiers after releasing a statement confirming his decision.
But the Preston-born Kilbane, who won 110 caps for the Republic after turning down a call-up to England Under-18s, has criticised Rice for accepting his initial international call-up.
“If you’re a ‘proud Englishman’ then why play for us in the first place?,” Kilbane said on Virgin Media Sport while on duty as a pundit on Wednesday night. “I can’t understand his decision to play for us in the first place.
“The line that stands out for me is, ‘I’m a proud Engishman’ if you’re a proud Englishman, don’t come and play for us.