Michail Antonio ‘snubs’ England, pledges his ‘international future to Jamaica’.
Michail Antonio, a West Ham striker, is said to have snubbed England and pledged his international future to Jamaica.
The Jamaica Football Association (JFA) announced earlier this month that it was planning to hire up to 15 English stars ahead of next year’s World Cup in Qatar. Demarai Gray, Max Aarons, and Liam Moore joined Antonio on the list, and it has now been reported that the West Ham player is the first to confirm his place in the Jamaica squad according to SkySports
Antonio has reportedly pledged his allegiance to the Caribbean island – where his parents were born – in order to play more international football after missing out on England squads in recent months, according to Sky Sports.
Jamaica is expected to submit Isaac Hayden, Andre Gray, Ethan Pinnock Mason Holgate, Kemar Roofe, Rolando Aarons, Curtis Tilt, Jamal Lowe, Amari’i Bell, and Kase Palmer.
Many of the players they want to call up are in the process of obtaining Jamaican passports, according to JFF President Michael Ricketts.
‘I see Andre Gray, Demarai Gray, Isaac Hayden, Mason Holgate, Liam Moore, who already has a Jamaican passport, Nathan Redmond, Kemar Roofe, and Ivan Toney, who contacted the JFF about representing us,’ says Andre Gray. ‘We are in the process of providing Jamaican passports for both of them,’ Ricketts said this week.
‘Due to the pandemic, the procedure is getting a little tedious, but it is still underway, and we are hopeful that we will be able to obtain passports for these gentlemen in a fair amount of time.’
‘We’ve been talking about it. ‘I just met with the Permanent Secretary for Sport, and he agreed to try to assist us in making the process easier and faster.’
In 2016, he turned down the opportunity to play for Jamaica before being invited to England squads by Sam Allardyce and Gareth Southgate, but he never played.
‘I turned down an approach from Jamaica in March, and for this to happen so soon, I’m buzzing,’ he said at the time after being called up to the England squad by Allardyce. All I want to do is keep my feet on the ground.
‘Even though I had strong stats in my first season in the Premier League, the England manager would have had to take a chance on me.’
‘It seems that the gaffer already thinks I’ve done enough to be allowed in, so hopefully I’ll be able to prove him wrong.’
In 2017, Southgate called up the forward, but he was forced to withdraw from the squad due to injury.