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Jack Grealish's emergence has prompted further debate about the Granny Rule.
Jack Grealish's emergence has prompted further debate about the Granny Rule.
Image: EMPICS Sport

Should the 'crazy' Granny Rule be abolished?

A provocative column in the Daily Mail suggests Jack Grealish should not be allowed to play for Ireland.
Apr 22nd 2015, 9:05 PM 8,425 32

THERE HAS BEEN no shortage of debate about Jack Grealish in recent days, and Daily Mail journalist Martin Samuel is the latest to give his two cents on the issue.

Samuel believes the Grandparent Rule that allows Grealish to play for Ireland is “crazy” and should be abolished, writing:

“The rules were intended to help those without a choice — unable to play for their country of birth, but good enough to represent that of their ancestors. Andy Townsend, born in Maidstone, wasn’t regarded highly by those in charge of England but was considered good enough to play for Ireland 70 times, through his Irish grandmother. Good luck to him — England’s loss was Ireland’s gain.

“But Grealish’s situation isn’t like that. The rules as applied in his case do not combat the absence of choice, they offer more choice, where none is necessary. 

“Grealish would have long been around the England age group teams by now. He would certainly be in next season’s Under 21 team, if he wasn’t already heading to the European Under 21 Championship in the summer or to the Toulon Under 20 tournament.

“So while Ireland haven’t broken any rules, they are certainly making the most of them. Their last Under 21 squad — which did not include Grealish — was made up of 21 players, 11 of whom were not born in Ireland. That cannot be right. It is not fair on those within Ireland’s club youth system. It is time for change.”

The piece has caused quite a furore acrosss social media, with many pointing out that England have also benefitted from this rule, with Jamaica-born Raheem Sterling the most notable recent player to declare for the Three Lions.

With that in mind, is Samuel right? Is the Grandparent Rule ridiculous? Or is it fair enough that players such as Grealish are allowed to declare for countries in which their relatives were born?

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Let us know what you think by voting in the poll below…


Poll Results:

No, the rules are fine as they are (2220)
Yes, the Grandparent Rule should be abolished (948)
Other (180)



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