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03rd Jul 2016

Wales fans angered as Daily Mail credits English-born players for Euro 2016 run

'People in glass houses'

Simon Lloyd

Seeing as they’ve not taken part in a major football tournament for so long, Wales haven’t half made light work of Euro 2016.

Having topped their group, wins over Northern Ireland in the last 16 and highest-ranked team in the tournament Belgium in the quarter-finals mean Chris Coleman’s side have a semi-final on the horizon against an underwhelming Portugal side. Can they go all the way? Nothing seems impossible.

Quite rightly, the Welsh team’s spirit and level of performance has been widely praised during their adventure in France.

Although fans of Welsh football are still very much riding the crest of a wave, many have reacted to an article published by the Daily Mail this weekend, claiming that Welsh success in the tournament was down to English-born players.


Pointing out that Wales’ goalscorers against Belgium – Ashley Williams, Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes – were all born on the other side of the border, the article adds that a total of nine of the Welsh squad were born in England.

Wales v Belgium - Quarter Final: UEFA Euro 2016

Written by Andy Warren, the article also discusses the reaction of the Welsh team to England’s humiliating last 16 defeat at the hands of Iceland.

‘The Wales players may have celebrated wildly as Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Joe Hart and Co saw their Euro 2016 campaign came to a humiliating end, but their own fairytale run to the last four in France would not have been possible were it not for players born in England.

The three Wales goalscorers in the 3-1 win over Belgium were all born on the east side of the Welsh border, with Ashley Williams, Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes all eligible to play for Chris Coleman’s side through their grandparents.’

As you might expect, the article prompted a strong response.

Many were quick to point out how English sport has also benefited from the achievements of some of their athletes born on foreign soil.

You can probably see why they’re so irked. You don’t see anyone crediting Jamaica for Kingston-born Raheem Sterling’s Euro 2016 form, do you?