GLOBAL football governing body Fifa has officially approved the applications for Ademola Lookman and Ovie Ejaria to switch to Nigeria making them eligible to feature for the Super Eagles in the World Cup qualifiers that start in September.
Both players had featured for England at youth level, so be eligible to play for Nigeria as seniors, they needed to get clearance from Fifa. According to Nigerian football website Owngoal, both players got their approval earlier this month and would have even featured in the two friendlies against Cameroon had the teams for the matched not already been picked.
Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) officials had applied for the switch as far back as 2019 but the lengthy verification process meant that it took two years for it to be completed. Lookman, who has had a brilliant season with Fulham in the English Premier League and Ejaria who plies his trade with Championship side Reading, now expect to be called up by Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr.
One NFF source said: “It’s a done deal, in fact, it was approved before the friendly games against Cameroon but the list was already out for the games. If both players do well next season, they will play for Nigeria in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.”
With both players now on board, Mr Rohr and the NFF will now turn their attention to several others they have in their sights including Michael Olise of Reading, Tosin Adarabioyo of Fulham and the Chelsea duo Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham. At the moment, Tomori and Abraham currently holidaying in Lagos as guests of superstar singer Davido.
Centreback Tomori, 23, who was on loan at AC Milan last season, helping them back into the Champions League. He has only played once for England at senior level, making him still eligible to play for Nigeria, whereas Abraham, 24, a striker, born to Nigerian parents, has indicated that wants to play for England at senior level.
Likewise, Crystal Palace playmaker Ebere Eze, has indicated that he is waiting for an England call-up. However, Olise is keen on representing Nigeria and his application is currently being considered by Fifa.