BELGIAN-born striker Cyriel Dessers has been cleared by the world football governing body Fifa to represent the Super Eagles after he successfully completed a switch from Belgium to Nigeria over the last week.
Dessers, 25, who currently plays his football with Heracles Almelo in the Netherlands, was born to a Nigerian mother and Belgian father, so is eligible to represent both nations. However, he has represented Belgium at youth level, so had to go through a switch with Fifa to be eligible to represent Nigeria.
Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick, revealed that by the virtue of birth, nationality and place of work, Dessers could have opted to play for Belgium or Netherlands. He could make his debut as early as March, 27, when Nigeria hosts Sierra Leone at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
NFF general secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, said: “We have finally settled for the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba for the qualifying match against Sierra Leone. The match will be played on Friday, 27th March 2020.”
With the NFF having picked March 27 for the first match, the Sierra Leone Football Association will most likely choose Tuesday, March 31, for the return leg in Freetown. Nigeria is currently top of the group with the maximum six points from their first two matches and a goals difference of plus three after beating Benin Republic 2-1 in Uyo and Lesotho 4-2 in Maseru.
With Dessers now fully signed up, the NFF will focus its attention on other players it is also pursuing like Ovie Ejaria of Reading and Ebere Eze of Queens Park Rangers, who both play in the English Championship. Ejaria is believed to have already signed his switch form and the NFF is just waiting to hear back from Fifa.