NIGERIAN Football Federation (NFF) officials have stepped up their pursuit of Lookman winger Ademola Lookman by seeking to fast-track his appearance for the Super Eagles by asking Fifa to allow him play while his appeal is still pending.
Lookman, 22, 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 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 applied to Fifa 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 qualifiers looming, the NFF wants Fifa to fast-track his application.
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 and with Nigeria due to resume her Nations Cup qualifiers against Benin republic and Lesotho in March, the NFF wants Lookman available.
An NFF spokesman said: “We have gotten from Rohr to quicken the process because he is keen on having him for the games in March. On our part, we have specially written to Fifa to grant our wish since the player in question has already started the process.”
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. NFF officials are hoping for a similar speedy approval for Lookman as his pace and direct approach are seen as needed for the Super Eagles.