Following on from Danny Mills’ startlingly ignorant comments over Wilfried Zaha’s decision to represent the Ivory Coast instead of England at international level, Palace chairman Steve Parish has stuck the knife into the FA in an interview with The Times.
Despite Zaha having officially switched allegiances to the African nation of his birth back in November of 2016, the whole issue has erupted once again this week, after England boss Gareth Southgate was pressed for his point of view on the matter during a press conference. Unsurprisingly, the Three Lions supremo did his best to shift any blame for Zaha’s defection away from himself and his employers but thankfully, Steve Parish hasn’t been afraid to speak his mind in the days since.
As referenced at the top of this article, Southgate’s words prompted former Manchester City defender Danny Mills to question Wilfried’s desire to represent England, a claim that is indirectly rubbished by Parish in the above interview too, with the Eagles chairman having clearly taken the criticism to heart on a personal level. It’s difficult to remember any individual Palace player being given such a sustained battering by this nation’s press but I for one am happy to see representatives of the football club publicly backing Zaha so regularly, it’s the least he deserves.
When all is said and done, the FA dropped the ball spectacularly in this case and deserve to have their actions scrutinsed by those who were directly impacted by their lack of action. Some will inevitably suggest that Parish’s take on the matter is of little significance but it’s important to remember that he has been quiet on the subject until today, with his words coming as a direct response to an avalanche of unfair criticism being showered upon one of his players in the press.
If he’s not allowed to stick up for one of his own in these circumstances, when is he? I agree with every word he’s said.