Alex Iwobi is set to be called up by the senior Nigeria team in order to secure his services in the future.
Part of the Nigeria under23 side for an All Africa Games qualifier, the Arsenal man was not able to play for them as he had not completed his change of international allegiance which is required by FIFA.
Iwobi has already represented England at under 16, 17, and 18 level.
Included in the squad as a way of trying to convince Iwobi to declare for the country of his birth, NFF’s Emmanuel Ikpeme, deputy secretary general of the federation, explained the situation
“As a responsible body, there was no way we would have used Alex Iwobi to play for us in Gabon knowing the implication of such an act.
“The rules are very clear on players or country seeking to switch allegiance from one country to another, so Alex having played for England in the cadet level, there is no way he can play for us in any such level, unless the senior national team, this we are trying to do, luckily for us his parents have been of great help in this regard.
“We all know that the U-23 team is like the feeder team for the new Super Eagles we are trying to build, so bringing the young man to be part of this team was done on purpose, now that he has fitted and bonded with the team, our next target is trying to see how we can firm up the paper work with FIFA then invite him to the Super Eagles in our next international friendly, hopefully against Bolivia.”
18-year-old Iwobi signed his first professional contract with the club back in May and is the captain of the under21’s.