Bukayo Saka Jadon Sancho EnglandGetty

Liverpool starlet Shelton wants South Africa instead of England due to fan criticism of Saka, Rashford and Sancho

  • The youngster has attempted to contact SA U17's coach
  • Shelton revealed Orlando Pirates are his favourate team in SA
  • SA will compete in the 2022 Cosafa U17 Championships

WHAT HAPPENED? The 16-year-old recently told Far Post that he had attempted to contact South Africa under-17 head coach Duncan Crowie as he is eligible to represent the country through his South African parents. Shelton, who is a central midfielder-come-winger, has featured for Liverpool's under-15 and under-16 teams and is hoping to be considered by former Santos striker Crowie. The teenager stated that the treatment Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, plus Arsenal star Bukayo Saka got after missing penalties while representing England at Euro 2020 convinced him to play for SA.  

WHAT DID SHELTON SAY?: “I just want to be given an opportunity to play for South Africa," Shelton told Metro FM. “I thought I wanted to play for South Africa after I saw how the players who play for England and who were born in the United Kingdom were treated after missing penalties. My favourite South African team is Orlando Pirates and my favourite player is Percy Tau." 

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Shelton would be able to represent South Africa when he obtains the country's passport through his parents, Enrico and Shirese Shelton. Enrico and Shirese are from Eastern Cape and, having moved to the United Kingdom in 2005, went on to live in Cyprus and Germany before returning to England. In 2015, Dutch-born striker Lars Veldwijk obtained a passport through his father, Harry, who was born in East Rand, Gauteng. Veldwijk began playing for Bafana Bafana in November 2016 and made his debut against Mozambique in a friendly match.

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WHAT NEXT FOR SHELTON? The former Apoel FC academy player will be hoping that Crowie and the South African Football Association make contact with him soon. Crowie is expected to be in charge of Amajimbos at the 2022 Cosafa U17 Championships later this month. The tournament will be used as a qualifier for the 2023 Afcon U17 finals in Algeria.