Football: Hislop happy with national loyalties

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The Independent Online
SHAKA HISLOP, the West Ham United goalkeeper, insists he will have no regrets at declaring his international allegiance to Trinidad and Tobago rather than England.

The former Reading and Newcastle United custodian was born in east London and has already played for England's Under-21 side in a friendly. But he is determined to stick with the country of his parents' birth, even though he has still to be called up by them for international duty.

With Arsenal's David Seaman probably nearing the end of his England career at 36 and Leeds' Nigel Martyn just three years younger, it is a decision that could prove costly for Kevin Keegan, especially on the evidence of Hislop's latest brilliant display in Monday night's goalless draw at Tottenham.

And it would seem unlikely that Hislop will ever enjoy great success with Trinidad and Tobago, even though Manchester United's Dwight Yorke also plays for them. However, the 30-year-old Hislop is adamant: "I won't change my mind. A lot of soul-searching went into the decision. I'm confident it will be the right one in the long run."

Harry Redknapp, the West Ham manager, thinks it is a pity, though. He said: "It's a shame really because I think he could have been picked by England. Without a doubt he's one of the best signings I've ever made and his saves against Spurs showed why."

Redknapp is not so happy, however, with the statistics that show West Ham have overtaken Southampton, Everton, Sunderland and Arsenal as having the Premiership's poorest disciplinary record. Steve Lomas' sending off against Spurs - for two bookable offences inside four minutes at the end of the first half - was their fifth red cards this season.

Lomas, the third West Ham player to be sent off in consecutive visits to Spurs, must now appear in front of a Football Association tribunal on a misconduct charge after the referee, Mike Riley, reported him for remarks made to him by the Northern Ireland international after a turbulent goalless draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge a month ago.

There is no date set yet for Lomas's hearing but he is likely to be suspended for at least one more match on top of the automatic one-game ban incurred at Tottenham, which already puts him out of the away fixture with Wimbledon on Boxing Day.