Manchester City youngster Ian Poveda is the subject of a big controversy in Colombia.
Despite being born in London and playing for England in the U16, U17, U18 and U19 levels, the winger is the son of Colombian parents, and wishes to represent his family’s country.
The Colombian U20 national team manager, however, is unwilling to give him this chance. In preparations for the U20 World Cup, Arturo Reyes has been interviewed by Fox Sports, and has claimed the Manchester City youngster won’t have a shot to play for Colombia, at least under his command.
“He has participated with England’s U15, U17 and U19 teams. I don’t know, he seems to have declared that he wants to play with Colombia, but in what I believe, a player who has put on the shirt of another country for so many years cannot feel the shirt of this team. I’m not going to call him up for the World Cup,” Reyes told Fox Sports (via El Universal).
Ian Poveda’s father, however, isn’t very happy with these quotes. Omar Poveda has spoken to En La Jugada from RCN Radio, and has claimed that the manager ‘harms his son’s image’.
“Ian’s dream was expressed two years ago, that he wanted to play for the Colombian national team, that is his dream. At this moment the only national team that have called have been England’s, but with Colombia we don’t know what can happen,” Omar Poveda told RCN.
“I can’t stand that Professor Reyes has expressed himself in those terms, he doesn’t know my son, he’s never spoken to him and he wants to play with Colombia. Ian has been very specific where he wants to play, he has said this and I understand that he could make those comments because of the pressure he had. I would like with the greatest respect, to point out that what Professor Reyes said harms the image of my son.”
It may be time for Manchester City to see if they can do some diplomatic work on this one.