Nigeria: England Clears Ameobi, Moses for Eagles

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday revealed that the English Football Association has given its nod to the request by two Nigerian youngsters, Shola Ameobi and Victor Moses to switch their nationality for Nigeria.

The two players have featured for England at the junior level and have applied to FIFA to be allowed to play for Nigeria at the senior level, which prompted the world football governing body’s decision to seek clearance from the English FA.

But speaking to reporters in Abuja yesterday, NFA General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu disclosed that the Federation has received two letters from the English FA, stating that there was no objection to the two players’ request to change nationality.

Against this backdrop, Amadu said he was full of confidence that before the end of this month (August), the two players will receive a clean bill of health to feature for Nigeria’s senior national football team.

“We have received two letters from the English FA, in which they have stated in clear and unambiguous terms that they have no objection whatsoever for Shola Ameobi and Victor Moses to play for Nigeria because that was one of the things that was lacking in the letters given to us previously.

“They have now made it absolutely clear in the letters that they don’t have any objection to these players playing for Nigeria at the senior level; and we have also forwarded the documents from the National Population Commission that these players acquired their nationality as Nigerians by birth as they were born in Kaduna and Zaria; and that for all intent and purposes, they have Nigerian parents and there is no reason whatsoever for them not to be allowed to play for Nigeria.

“So I am confident that in this month of August we should see their applications through”, Amadu stated.

“On the draws for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Amadu noted that though Nigeria had a fair pairing, the Super Eagles will not underrate their opponents.

“We are not going to take Namibia or Seychelles for granted, or Djibouti or Kenya for granted if any of these teams progressed after the preliminary round. So on the whole; if you look at the other groups, the draws could have been worse, so it was a fair draw for Nigeria.

“So, we have no complaint and I am sure that when coach comes back he will put a strategy as to how to top the group conveniently and confidently so that when the draw for the third round is made, we will be able to tackle it squarely on home and away basis and pick one of the five tickets from Africa for the FIFA 2014 World Cup”, he concluded.

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