By: Oma Akatugba
According to reports from England, Tammy Abraham, who was said to have agreed to represent Nigeria according to the president of the Nigerian football association, Amaju Pinnick has denied the reports and insisted he remains committed to England.
The Chelsea striker, who is currently on a season-long loan to Swansea, played for England at this summer’s European Under-21 Championships in Poland but remains eligible for the Super Eagles through his parents.
Last week, Amaju Pinnick, the president of the Nigerian Football Federation, admitted that he was hopeful of persuading the 19-year-old to switch allegiances despite representing England at various youth levels thanks to his close relationship with his father, who is a childhood friend.
Pinnick claimed on Thursday that Abraham has agreed to play for Nigeria and added they have now begun the process of applying to Fifa to transfer his registration. However, Abraham has since denied those reports and insisted he remains available for selection for England.
“I had a very honest and productive discussion with Tammy and his father last week,” Pinnick said.
“It’s been a long process but I can tell you authoritatively that he has agreed to play for Nigeria and not England. He and his parents have started the necessary documents to effect the switch.
“Clearly he understands he stands a better chance playing for the Super Eagles,” he added. “With his talent he has the ability to fight for a place in the Nigeria squad, by God’s grace we make it to Russia, then he would contest for a chance to represent his fatherland.”
Speaking in England, Tammy said: “Contrary to reports in the media I would like to clarify that I have not agreed to switch my national team allegiance.
“I can confirm I met the President of the NFF after our last game against Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday as he is a friend of my father.
“However, any suggestion that I have made a decision to change my international representation is incorrect and not connected to me or any member of my family.”
This has sent shockwaves across the football circle in Nigeria after fans celebrated the news as posted on the NFF twitter handle with pictures of Pinnick and Tammy in England on Saturday after Swansea vs Tottenham EPL fixture
The Nigerian football federation president in recent times has been known to be in love with Nigerian players born and raised abroad. This has seen him lure players like Alex Iwobi and recently Ola Aina who is also on loan from Chelsea to hull city to switch allegiance to the country of their roots, Nigeria.
Nigeria is currently three points clear at the top of Group B as they attempt to qualify for a third successive FIFA World Cup.
Photo Credit: Goal.com