AC MILAN centreback Fikaro Tomori could still feature for Nigeria in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers after Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr refused to close the door on the player following his recent declaration that he feels Nigerian.
Former Chelsea defender Tomori, 23, is born of Nigerian parents in Canada and grew up in England, so is thus eligible to play for all three countries. As far back as 2019 there was a tussle to sign the player who had already played for England at junior level and it appeared that he has agreed to play for the English national team.
However, despite a promising career in Italy with Milan over the last two seasons, Fikayo has found it hard to break into the England squad. He is way down the pecking order with the likes of Harry Maguire, John Stones, Tyronne Mings, Conor Coady and Ben White, which appears to have prompted him to reconsider his decision.
Over the last week, Tomori explained that he feels like a Nigerian considering how he was brought up even though he decided not to play for the Super Eagles. He added that that his parents used to communicate with him in Nigerian languages when he was young.
Tomori said: “My name is Nigerian and it means God has filled me with joy and it is typical in Nigeria to give such names. I feel very Nigerian and when I was little my parents spoke to me in the local language and I ate typical Nigerian food.”
Reacting to Tomori’s recent comments Mr Rohr said he would welcome the defender in the Super Eagles should he decided to make the switch. Having already played for both the Canadian and England youth teams, Tomori will need to go through a lengthy Fifa switch to be eligible to play for Nigeria.
On March 27 2016, Tomori captained Canada ‘s U20 team to a 2–1 victory over England and on May 16 that year at the next international break, he was called up to the England U19 squad. On June 4 2016, Tomori made his England U19 debut against Mexico, playing the full 90 minutes and was also part of the England 2016 Uefa European Under-19 Championship squad which reached the semi-finals.