NFF Awaits FIFA Over Iwobi’s Clearance | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NFF Awaits FIFA Over Iwobi’s Clearance

Posted: Jul 11, 2015 at 12:18 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) expects to get Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi to play for the country as soon as possible, as the federation awaits word from FIFA over its application for a nationality switch.

The 19-year-old, who plays as a forward and captains the Gunners’ U21s, was born in Lagos but has represented the English youth teams at all levels.

Alex Iwobi

Alex Iwobi

However, he has decided to pitch his international future with the Super Eagles and was invited to the U-23 squad but sat in the stands during an All African Games qualifying match against Gabon in Libreville in February.

FIFA rules require that an application be made from the interested association seeking for permission before a player switches his allegiance.

The NFF is keen for Iwobi’s switch to be complete.

“We have since sent applications to FIFA on the boy’s intention of playing for his fatherland, Nigeria,” NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi said.

“And like what happened in the case of Victor Moses and Shola Ameobi, it took time before FIFA replied us that they had been cleared.

“You know that there are processes as regards this. FIFA will thoroughly assess [our application] before clearing the player for us to use.”

Iwobi was included in Arsenal’s 27-man squad for its Barclays Asia Trophy tour to Singapore.

He will hope to break into the Gunners first team this season after impressing in the youth side last season.