SUPER Eagles manager Gernot Rohr has delayed releasing his team squad for the forthcoming African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin Republic and Lesotho until he hears from Queens Park Rangers (QPR) midfielder Ebere Eze.
Nigeria is due to kick off her qualification campaign for Cameroon 2021 next month with a double header against Benin and Lesotho and Mr Rohr is keen to use the opportunity to cap Eze who has been brilliant this season. Eze, 21, has already featured for the England U20 side so to play for Nigeria he will need to go through a formal switch with Fifa but the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) needs him to allow them to start the process.
Last week, Eze and Mr Rohr held talks and the coach is still waiting for the player to make up his mind, so the NFF can initiate the switch with Fifa. Although Ebere will not be able to feature in the qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho on November 14 and 19 respectively as he would not have been cleared, he can at least train with the Super Eagles squad.
Once a player has featured for another country at youth level, switching nationality will require clearance through Fifa and the process takes at least 12 months. Apparently, Mr Rohr is waiting to get a yes from the player, so his name can be included in the squad and he can report to camp where he will interact with the other players.
Linked with a possible move to Tottenham Hotspur as a replacement for want-away Danish skipper Christian Erickson, Ebere has been in scintillating form for English Championship side QPR this season. If Nigeria submits a request to Fifa now, Ebere will be able to feature for the Super Eagles in the latter stages of the qualifiers and go to the Nations Cup proper in Cameroon in 2021.
In the past, Nigeria has been very successfully as attracting diasporans with dual nationality as the likes of Victor Moses, Ola Aina and Alex Iwobi all managed to make the switch without any hassle. Diasporans who had never featured for the countries of their birth like William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Joe Aribo, Maduka Okoye, Bryan Idowu and Tyrone Ebuehi, were however, eligible to play for the Super Eagles straight away.