Football: Compromise by Wilkinson

HOWARD WILKINSON has ruled out 28 first-choice players from his plans for the forthcoming world under-20 tournament in Nigeria to ward off expected opposition from clubs.

The Football Association's technical director held a meeting with the Premier League and the Football League last Friday before issuing a guarantee that any player involved regularly in first-team football would not be picked. So out of the list of 66 eligible players drawn up by Wilkinson, almost half will not be selected for the mid-season tournament in April.

The squad has not yet been announced but the likes of Michael Owen, Gareth Barry, Alan Smith, Jonathan Wood-gate, Jody Morris, Joe Cole and Wes Brown will now almost certainly not have to miss vital end-of-season domestic games.

Even though England will now be sending virtually a shadow 18-man squad, Wilkinson accepts that some managers may still object to the inclusion of certain players.

But the former Leeds manager, who outlined his exclusion criteria as being "players involved with a first-team squad on a week to week basis", said yesterday: "I have gone as far as I can and now we have to work through it. I have a reasonable rapport with most managers. I think the solution is as ideal as it can be. It would have been an exercise in futility to start a war concerning the release of first-team players."

Wilkinson said he had already received backing for his policy from two Premiership managers, while another was actually in favour of one of his players going.

Wilkinson accepts the demands on players are difficult, but also believes that the success of Kieron Dyer in the last tournament, in Malaysia, proves that those who are not household names can benefit.

Although Nigeria is a volatile country with a history of human rights abuses, there is no question of England unilaterally pulling out of a tournament which also involves the likes of Germany, the United States, Australia and Spain.

"Along with the other European countries and America, we have sought assurances from Fifa [the sport's world governing body] as to any concerns we have and if these are given then we will go' Wilkinson said.

England's standing in international football - and their chances of hosting the 2006 World Cup - would certainly be hurt if they unilaterally pulled out from what is seen by Wilkinson as the second most prestigious international competition.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Teaching Assistant in secondary school Manchester

£11280 - £14400 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Teaching a...

Primary teaching roles in Ipswich

£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education re...

Science teachers needed in Norwich

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Science teachers requ...

Semi Senior Accountant - Music

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful, Central London bas...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits