Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has chosen Ivory Coast over England
The England coach has said he only wants 100 per cent committed players in his squad and bluntly told Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish to mind his own business over Zaha kissing goodbye to England to play for the Ivory Coast.
Frustrated Palace star Zaha opted to play for the 'Les Elephants' in November, despite making two non-competitive appearances for England and playing under Southgate at Under-21 level.
Southgate's appeal at the time to keep himself available for England was ignored as Zaha appeared in the African Cup of Nations and on Friday scored a brilliant goal for the Ivory Coast when he dribbled past three defenders to net in the 2-0 friendly win over Russia.
Gareth Southgate hit out at Steve Parish for his tweet about Wilfried Zaha for England
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Parish tweeted afterwards: "Never wavered in my belief of Wilfried Zaha, why is this goal not for England?"
But Southgate said: "Steve Parish has a vociferous view. He has done a great job for that club. I am not sure it is helpful for him to comment. I would not comment on his decision and we are both in prominent roles.
"He is passionate about his club and his players. He was keen to push that forward. I totally understand it.
Gareth Southgate is not fussed about Wilfried Zaha turning his back on England
Wilfried Zaha opted to play for Ivory Coast over England
"I have to focus on players who are desperate to play for England. If you don't feel that 100 per cent passion, I am not sure it is for me to sell that to you.
"It should be your desire to play for your country. It should be them coming to us. Jermain Defoe's whole life has been a desire to play for England. If you'd approached him to go and play for somebody else, he would not have done it.
"I did not get capped with England until I was 25. I had no interest in playing for anybody else. I'm English and proud to be English."