By Eyong Macdella
Nigerian and Leicester City international, Ademola Lookman has had his file for change of Nationality approved by FIFA to now join his Country play for the senior National team Category.
Football’s world governing body, FIFA, approved the 24-year-old’s switch from England after he helped win the Under-20 World Cup in 2017 after receiving his long-awaited clearance from FIFA in order to be eligible to represent Nigeria going forward.
The Leicester City forward who has already been made eligible to represent Nigeria now has the chance to play in the two-legged 2022 World Cup play-off against Ghana next month.
Lookman like many others of Nigerian descent came through the youth ranks with England at both U19 and U21 levels.Having represented England at Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 level, Lookman will be looking to play for the West African nation in major tournaments like the Africa Cup of Nations and the Fifa World Cup.
The process to get him switch international allegiance began in 2020 when the Nigeria’s team secretary, Dayo Enebi got the required documents for the switch ready on behalf of the Federation.
But then, the application suffered a long delay due to the player’s inability to sort out his Nigerian passport nor provide a written request for a change of association in line with FIFA’s regulations.
Ademola Lookman only completed the paperwork this week which enabled the NFF to file a fast track application for his clearance.
The Nigeria Football Federation expressed delight and excitement for having the you g prolific player.
“We are excited about this positive news because it comes as a major boost for the national team,” NFF director of communications, Ademola Olajire said
“He’s now eligible to play for Nigeria starting with next month’s matches, but a decision whether to invite him or not is the sole responsibility of the coach.
“Lookman is a great addition to the Super Eagles and after a long wait, we are delighted that he can finally play for us.”
Nigeria also succeeded in convincing several former England youth internationals, such as Sone Aluko, Victor Moses, Shola Ameobi, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina and most recently Ashleigh Plumtre, to swap allegiances.
Meanwhile, the trio of Sheyi Ojo (Millwall), Ovie Ejaria (Reading) and Chuba Akpom (PAOK), born in England to Nigerian parents, have also made themselves available to the three-time African champions.
It is worth noting that Lookman has scored five goals in 22 appearances since joining Leicester City on a season-long loan from German Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in August.
He also spent last season on loan at Fulham, scoring four goals in 35 appearances, though unable to save them from relegation from the Premier League.
The 24-year-old is on loan at the King Power Stadium from RB Leipzig, having previously represented Everton and Charlton Athletic.
Nigeria who will go against Fiur time Champions Ghana next month is have reached six of the last seven finals.
They went out of the recent Africa Cup of Nations at the round of 16 stage, falling 1-0 to Tunisia despite an excellent group stage record.
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