Sport Soccer

Thursday 22 March 2018

Daily Mail journalist who wants granny rule abolished has reopened the debate

Jack Grealish has still to make a decision on his international future
Jack Grealish has still to make a decision on his international future Newsdesk Newsdesk

Last week the Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel stirred quite a debate when he called for the granny rule to be abolished.

Samuel argued that Jack Grealish should play for England because every player should only be eligible to play for the country they were born in.

His comments drew an avalanche of responses, from Ireland, England and the rest of the world, with the vast majority disagreeing with him.

Now, in his latest column on the whole saga, Samuel has let the people decide as the Mail have published comments from their readers on the issue.

But did he have a little pop again when he signed off his intro with the following line and an embedded youtube clip of the Chieftains’ song The Coombe?

“Also, some modern ballet, when fractions go wrong – and Phil Lynott. But first, to get us in that Celtic mood, this. Be patient, it’s a builder…”

Here is just a selection of what the readers thought of Samuel’s column last week.

Read more: Comment: Daily Mail Jack Grealish rant an insult to all second generation Irish

Martin’s point is about the process. I agree that it should be better regulated and clearer for everybody involved. In this case under the present rules the player has a choice. All countries bend the rules, including England, but there is a big difference between Jack Grealish and those that cheat using fake residency. Mrg, Maidstone.

I agree. I don’t think Ireland are cheating, but I am in favour of stronger regulations and less choice. International football isn’t supposed to be about choosing your country; your country chooses you.

It would be interesting to hear whether Martin Samuel’s views extend to cricket or rugby. Of the current England cricket squad, Eoin Morgan, Jonathan Trott, Matt Prior, Gary Ballance, Ben Stokes, Chris Jordan, Craig Kieswetter, Boyd Rankin, Jade Dernbach, Sam Robson, Michael Lumb, Nick Compton and Stuart Meaker are variously from Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Australia and the West Indies. JoeyTheEye, London.

If Adnan Januzaj had decided to turn out for England would you still have the same problem? But, hey, let's change the rules because it benefits the England side. Get a grip. Conmag85, Dublin

Read more: Irish fans react to Daily Mail story calling on granny rule to go after Jack Grealish saga

Couldn't disagree with you more, Martin. The system of being allowed to play for the nation of your parents or grandparents works fine, and I'll be dead before I allow some faceless UEFA panel to decide my heritage, national allegiance or footballing future. Tran Hung Dao, United Kingdom.

I don't see what issue is. I grew up about four miles from the Grealish family in Solihull, my dad's side of the family are from Ireland and I have an Irish surname. I would have picked Ireland over England if became a professional as I am proud of my Irish heritage. Jack has stated he is proud of Ireland too. So give it a rest will you, Samuel. He qualifies as he has Irish grandparents. Bronson79, Solihull.

Answer me this then: if he’s so proud, why the fuss, why the delay? I think nationality rules have become grey and sloppy making them open to abuse but the bottom line is that if Jack Grealish is as married to his Irish heritage as so many on here would like to believe, why is there even a debate? He declared for Ireland and that should be the end of it. But it isn’t. For some reason, he hasn’t brought the speculation about England to a stop. The suggestion is he wants to concentrate on his debut season at Aston Villa – yet what would allow him to do that more than a simple one-line statement confirming he will represent Ireland throughout his international career? And that is what I think is wrong. By all means play for Ireland – but let’s not have the auction, this game of "what can you do for me?" because international football is meant to be above that.

Raheem Sterling would look great in a Jamaican kit – the country of his and his parents’ birth. My point, I trust is very clear. Christoffaloff, Ireland.

Read more: English journalist calls for granny rule to be abolished after Jack Grealish saga, is he right?

Clear but irrelevant, yes. Sterling was born in Jamaica but came to England at the age of five, meaning he was the product of English schools, clubs and academies. Much like Jack Grealish in fact.

How desperate is the former World Cup winner that they're fighting with Ireland for players? A sad state. CSimm, Atlanta.

They are all at it. The Republic of Ireland, under Jack Charlton, would take anyone who had the slightest connection with that country, and the Scottish tried to poach Wayne Rooney. Even going back to that World Cup in 1966, you’ll find Portugal’s hero Eusebio was born in Mozambique. Bill, United Kingdom.

Bill’s right. Everyone is fighting for players. That’s the problem. There shouldn’t be fighting. Players should make a choice and stick with it and the national associations should respect those boundaries.

So, you weren't worried when he represented Ireland for a number of years, but as soon as he performs well in the Premier League, it's time for him to play for England. Jay853, Bangalore.

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