Disgruntled England fans have started a petition to ban Manchester United’s Tom Cleverley from going to Brazil.
But the campaign was rejected as an e-petition by the Government’s direct.gov site, which cannot be used for commercial issues.
The 24-year-old midfielder has been the target of criticism at his club throughout the season as well as on a national level for his poor performances.
The petition, submitted by England fan Glenn McConnell from Blackpool, said: “Tom Cleverley, owner of 13 England caps, has been regularly selected by Roy Hodgson in his squads without possessing any genuine qualities whatsoever.
“We believe in the reputation of this proud footballing nation and that he should be prevented from attending this summer’s international showcase.
“Whilst England are considered to disappoint at major tournaments, further embarrassment could be avoided by not having his inept performances undermine the rest team’s efforts.”
However the petition was rejected before it could garner more than Glenn’s own signature.
The response from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport was: “E-petitions cannot be used to request action on issues that are outside the responsibility of the government.
“This includes party political material, commercial endorsements including the promotion of any product, service or publication, issues that are dealt with by devolved bodies, eg The Scottish Parliament and correspondence on personal issues.”
McConnell told MM that a number of players could replace Cleverley in the England squad, with suggestions ranging from hotly-tipped Ross Barkely and Adam Lallana to uncapped Joey Barton.
“As an avid armchair football fan, with the amount of United games shown on the TV, I see Cleverley almost as often as he plays,” said McConnell.
“He looked a different player at Wigan and I think mediocrity has been rewarded at United.
“It doesn’t set a good precedent for our fledgling internationals that a player can be so anonymous at club level, yet be even money to play on the world’s biggest stage.
“Of course, there’s still time for him to develop but at 24 and with 13 caps under his belt that time is limited. Put it that way and you’d expect something close to the finished article.”
Cleverley was a feature of the last England squad to face Chile and Germany back in November.
He will also feature for England in their final friendly before the World Cup squad is announced against Denmark next week.
He has scored one goal in 32 appearances for Manchester United this season.
Image courtesy of MUTV via YouTube, with thanks.