Eng­land FA ac­cused of ne­glect­ing play­ers from smaller clubs

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: Crys­tal Palace winger Wil­fried Zaha was not given an Eng­land call-up be­cause the FA are bi­ased to­wards play­ers from the more “glam­orous” Premier League clubs, ac­cord­ing to Palace chair­man Steve Par­ish.

Eng­land man­ager Gareth Southgate re­cently voiced his frus­tra­tion with Zaha, who switched his in­ter­na­tional al­le­giance to Ivory Coast last year af­ter not be­ing se­lected for any Eng­land squad since 2013.

Zaha, who made two friendly ap­pear­ances for Eng­land, com­mit­ted to play­ing for Ivory Coast be­fore Southgate’s per­ma­nent ap­point­ment in Novem­ber.

“It has a lot to do with the less glam­orous clubs. The FA don’t talk to peo­ple that come to Palace games. They talk to peo­ple who go to Manch­ester United and Arse­nal games,” Par­ish told The Times.

“He (Zaha) can change a game in a minute. Any­body who watched Wil­fried will tell you that some of the things that he does are lu­di­crous. Do we not want that? I can’t be­lieve there was not a role for Wil­fried at Eng­land.” Zaha has been in fine form for Ivory Coast, scor­ing two goals in six games.

“The whole Eng­land set-up gave Wil­fried no love and it is a shame that we lost him. Wil­fried was wait­ing and wait­ing for that call,” Par­ish added.

“It is dev­as­tat­ing for us... We need to cap­ture all the tal­ent we can and give it some love.”

Zaha has scored six goals in 27 ap­pear­ances for 16th-placed Palace who face lead­ers Chelsea at Stam­ford Bridge to­mor­row. Reuters

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