NIGERIAN Football Federation (NFF) officials have written to global football body Fifa protesting over the lengthy delay in approving the switch of Fulham star Ademola Lookman that will enable him to play for the Super Eagles.
Lookman, 23, joined Fulham on a season long loan from German side Leipzig on deadline day at the start of the current season and has gone on to become a sensation at Craven Cottage. Born in England to Nigerian parents, Lookman, who has featured for the England U17 team, signed a five year deal with Leipzig in July 2019, is eligible for the national teams of both Nigeria and England.
In January this year, the NFF reported that Lookman officially applied to Fifa in 2019 for a switch of nationality that will enable him to play for the Super Eagles during the World Cup qualifiers. Since then, however, nothing has been heard of his application and with African Nations Cup looming in the summer, the NFF wants Fifa to fast-track his application.
NFF officials also want Lookman available for the World Cup qualifiers which begin in June, hoping to field him for the first match against Liberia. A dashing winger with a lot of pace, an eye for goal and a very direct approach, the NFF is hoping that Lookman will make life uncomfortable for Nigeria’s opponents.
One NFF official said: “We have written to Fifa about the delay. It is quite unusual as he applied two years ago.
“Coach Rohr wants him in the squad and hopefully, he will have him. We are on the case.”
Because Lookman has played for the England youth team before, he needs to go through a Fifa switch before he can play for Nigeria. Traditionally, such switches take about a year to complete but last year, Fifa managed to fast-track the switch of centreback Kevin Akpoguma who had played for the German youth team but opted for Nigeria at senior level.