Gary Neville slams Declan Rices decision to turn his back on the Republic of Ireland

Declan Rice played for England against the Netherlands in the Nations League in June (Picture: Getty)

Gary Neville has criticised Declan Rices decision to switch his international allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to England and called on FIFA and UEFA to change the current system.

Born in Kingston upon Thames in southwest London, Rice was eligible to represent Ireland through his paternal grandparents and featured for them from U16 to senior level between 2015-18.

Despite making three senior appearances for Ireland in 2018, Rice opted to play for England instead and his decision was ratified by FIFA in March this year, clearing him to play for the Three Lions in their Euro 2020 qualification campaign.

The 20-year-old admitted at the time that it had been an extremely difficult decision to make but Neville believes it should have been taken out of his hands once hed played a senior game for Ireland.

Declan Rice celebrates after Republic of Ireland's win over the USA
Rice made three appearances for the Republic of Ireland (Picture: Getty)

Ive heard hes a really good lad, I just think that ultimately a player should not be allowed to play for his countrys senior team and then switch, Neville said at the Cadbury Premier League Partnership in Dublin.

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It doesnt feel right to me. Its a really strange thing to see and ultimately FIFA and UEFA need to stop it.

There have been players whove asked for interviews and meetings with the national team manager. Why is that influencing your decision, do you want some level of guarantee about play?

Country is about an emotion, its about a feeling and that might be England, it might be Ireland, it might be Wales, whatever country you play for Ive no problem with the process of players picking who they want to play for.

Ive issue with this sort of beauty parade to determine which country they play for. It should be taken out of the players hands.

Gary Neville and Gareth Southgate are interviewed before England's game against Holland
Gary Neville has called on FIFA and UEFA to tighten up laws related to switching international allegiance (Picture: Getty)

Rice was able to switch his allegiance to England as none of his three senior appearances for Ireland came in competitive internationals.

The West Ham midfielder has since gone on to play for Gareth Southgate in Euro 2020 qualifiers as well as in the Nations League tournament in the summer.

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