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Pietersen weighs in on Wilshere-Januzaj debate

ESPN staff
October 9, 2013 « Fan 'tells off' Houston Texans quarterback at his home | Chartbeat test »
Wilshere: I have a lot to learn

England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has weighed in on the Jack Wilshere-Adnan Januzaj debate, challenging the Arsenal midfielder to define the term "foreigner".

On Tuesday, Wilshere criticised the FA over their approach for Manchester United youngster Januzaj, who was born in Belgium to Albanian-Kosovan parents and is also eligible for Turkey and Serbia, and could opt to play for England in 2018. Wilshere said: "The only people who should play for England are English people."

Wilshere then clarified his comments on Twitter on Wednesday, claiming the media had twisted his words.

However Pietersen - who was born and raised in South Africa - has now waded into the row. Pietersen left South Africa in 1997 after becoming frustrated with his national team's racial quota system. He became eligible for England through his English mother after playing at county level for a four-year period.

Pietersen tweeted: "@JackWilshere - interested to know how you define foreigner...? Would that include me, Strauss, Trott, Prior, Justin Rose, Froome, Mo Farah?"

Wilshere replied: "With all due respect Mr Pietersen the question was about football! Cricket, cycling, Athletics is not my field!"

Pietersen returned with: "Same difference. It's about representing your country! IN ANY SPORT!"

The conversation ended with Wilshere writing: "I agree that's exactly what I was saying..."

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Earlier in the day, former Wimbledon and England striker John Fashanu fired off several sarcasm-laden tweets aimed at Wilshere.

Responding to Wilshere's notion that "If I lived in Spain for 5 years I wouldn't play for Spain", Fashanu said: "You're right. You wouldn't get near the squad."

He then added: "Bloody foreigners. Coming over here and taking out places in the national squad. They don't even tackle as hard as us."

And, referring to the man of the match performance from Canadian-born, German-bred Owen Hargreaves in the 2006 World Cup quarter-final against Portugal, which England lost on penalties after Wayne Rooney was sent off in a 0-0 draw, Fashanu concluded: "Owen Hargreaves certainly wasn't brave the day he put in an absolute shift for an embarrassingly bad 10-man England team."

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