Michail Antonio has never been given much England recognition.
An excellent Premier League striker who has scored six goals in 16 games this season and has netted a total of 44 strikes in 171 games for West Ham United, Antonio has been called up for three matches.
Back in 2016, he sat on the bench as the Three Lions beat Slovakia 1-0 in Sam Allardyce’s only game in charge, and was also on the bench in the 2-0 win over Malta and the 0-0 draw with Slovenia under Gareth Southgate.
And it seems he has grown tired of it, as the 30-year-old has now switched his international allegiance to Jamaica, per The Athletic.
Jamaica want to include Antonio in their squads for the World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Costa Rica in September, when he could make his senior international debut.
The Athletic reports that a motivating factor behind his decision is his desire to leave a legacy in the country where his parents were born, as his father died in March 2020.
Antonio believes that playing for Jamaica is his best route to playing in a World Cup, with his eyes firmly focused on the 2022 tournament.
CONCACAF’s qualifying takes the form of a league, with Jamaica receiving a bye to the final qualifying round.
The top three teams qualify automatically for the World Cup, while the fourth-placed nation goes into an intercontinental play-off. Jamaica finished fourth at the Gold Cup, but will have to beat off competition from the likes of Mexico, USA, and Honduras if they are to reach the tournament in Qatar.
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
This is absolutely fair enough.
Antonio is eligible and, despite banging on the door, Southgate doesn’t seem to want to let him into the England party.
As a result, one can sympathise with the player’s desire to test himself at the highest level and this decision will surely boost Jamaica’s hopes of reaching the World Cup.
They last played in the tournament in 1998, when they finished in the group stages in their only appearance to date.
Spearheaded by Antonio, who will link up with Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey and the former Hammer Ravel Morrison, they will hope to be back at football’s top table 24 years later.