Glenn Hoddle told ITV News that "the rules are the rules", when he was asked about Jack Wilshere's comment that "only English people" should play for England.
The former England manager also said the FA needs to be "ruthless" and change the English game so the country can produce more home-grown talent.
Hoddle, who has been appointed on an FA commission tasked with improving the England national team, said: "In the past we've lost a lot of talent to other countries.
"There was a really good spell where the Irish had some fabulous players that were English-based but they went and they played for Ireland which is fair because the rules are the rules.
"I'm not adverse to having those rules changed to benefit English football, we've got to be that ruthless."
More top news
Jeremy Corbyn has been heckled as he gave a speech at a rally over the EU referendum result.
Investigators have extracted data from the crashed EgyptAir Flight MS804's recorder.
Will Jeremy Corbyn be going anywhere? Not if membership figures are to be believed.