Ben White Declines England Call-up Amidst Controversy: Arsenal Defender Opts Out of International Duty

Ben White Declines England Call-up Amidst Controversy: Arsenal Defender Opts Out of International Duty

Gareth Southgate, the manager of the England national football team, recently disclosed that Ben White, the Arsenal defender, opted out of being considered for selection this month. The decision was conveyed to Southgate by Arsenal’s technical director, Edu, indicating White’s desire not to participate in the friendlies against Brazil and Belgium. Instead, White chose to spend the international break on holiday in Dubai before returning to training with his Arsenal teammates in preparation for their crucial Premier League encounter with Manchester City.

Arteta’s Perspective on White’s Decision

Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, expressed his hope that Ben White would eventually represent England again in the future. Arteta emphasized that while he would welcome White back into the England setup, the final decision rests with the player himself. Arteta acknowledged the support White has received from his teammates and the football community but reiterated that representing his country is a personal choice for White.

Previous Controversy Surrounding White

White’s decision to decline the England call-up follows a previous controversy during the 2022 World Cup campaign in Qatar. Reports surfaced suggesting a rift between White and England assistant coach Steve Holland. Allegedly, Holland questioned White’s interest in football during a conversation in front of other squad members, implying that White lacked passion for the sport. This incident led to speculation about White’s commitment to international football.

Southgate’s Response and Open Door for White

Despite the previous incident, Gareth Southgate has stated that the door remains open for Ben White to return to the England squad. Southgate emphasized that the decision lies with White, indicating his willingness to welcome White back into the fold. However, Southgate acknowledged the challenge of White’s absence leading up to the Euros and emphasized the uncertainty surrounding player availability.

White’s Expected Involvement Against Man City

Ben White is expected to feature for Arsenal in their upcoming match against Manchester City, a crucial fixture in the Premier League title race. Arsenal currently holds a one-point lead over Manchester City, with both teams vying for the top spot. Arteta provided updates on the fitness of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Gabriel, indicating their potential involvement in the match despite recent injury concerns.


Ben White’s decision to decline the England call-up has sparked discussions within the football community, highlighting the complexities of player representation at the international level. While the controversy surrounding White’s commitment to football continues, his focus remains on contributing to Arsenal’s success in the Premier League title race. As the season unfolds, White’s performances on the pitch will undoubtedly draw attention, both domestically and internationally, shaping the narrative surrounding his future in international football.

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