Harry Arter has revealed that he received a torrent of online abuse over rumours that he was going to declare for England.
The Bournemouth midfielder missed both the qualifying wins over Georgia and Moldova, as he recovers from a slight groin strain.
In an interview with The Sunday World, Arter said that he received vile abuse over the mounting rumours that he would declare for England.
Technically, Arter could still represent England, because he has yet to play for a competitive match for Martin O’Neill’s team. However, he says there is no truth to the wild online rumours.
The 26 year old said;
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
This was Irish people who had looked at a few newspaper stories and come to the conclusion that I was about to go and play for England. I never said that was happening and my stance on the whole story was that I didn’t need to comment on something that was little more than a rumour.
“Then I see these Twitter messages and, honestly, it was the only time that I have ever had a thought that maybe I shouldn’t play for Ireland. The messages were just vile. I was shocked by what people were sending my way. Honestly, I had to check that someone had not hacked my account and put a message on there to inspire this reaction.
“A lot of the messages have now been deleted, which says all you need to know about the people that thought it was a good idea to write them in the first place.”
Arter has been inspired form for Bournemouth in the Premier League this season, and he could have a key role to play in Ireland’s bid to qualify for Russia 2018.