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Ben White refused England call-up 'due to Steve Holland's remark about his interest in football'

Ben White refused England call-up 'due to Steve Holland's remark about his interest in football'

Arsenal defender Ben White's refusal to represent England in the final round of international matches is due to a “barbed comment” made by Steve Holland during the 2022 World Cup.

Ben White has not played for England since their early World Cup exit(Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal.

Comments directed at Ben White by England assistant coach Steve Holland regarding his “lack of interest in football” were allegedly behind the defender's decision to put his international career on hold.

The 26-year-old Arsenal star is in good form but has not featured for England since leaving the World Cup early at the end of November. Gareth Southgate revealed this week that White had told the Three Lions boss that he did not want to be selected but insisted there were no issues with the player.

However, a new report from Telegraph It is now claimed that a 'barbed comment' made by Holland about White's lack of interest in football in front of his teammates was the reason behind the decision.

The exchange is said to have started when Holland asked Kyle Walker a question regarding Manchester City's performances the previous year. When White asked a similar question, the defender told Holland he did not know the answer. Holland was then said to have responded by saying it was because White “wasn't interested enough” in football.

The report goes on to explain that the exchange with Holland occurred days before White was actually asked to leave the Three Lions camp. It is alleged that although there was no public disagreement between White and Hollande, the two exchanged views in a private conversation on the day of Hollande's comments.

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After White returned home from Qatar early, England went on to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament. They were eliminated by France, who finished the competition after being defeated in the finals.

Although not considered his country's first choice, White has established himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League since joining Arsenal in a £50m deal from Brighton in the summer of 2021.

White left the World Cup early in November(Getty Images)

After impressing in his first season at right-back, White slotted in seamlessly at right-back and was handed a new four-year contract on the same day Southgate spoke out about White's stance on representing his country.

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