Thursday, October 3, 2013

Calling on all foreign-born players: NFF backs up plan to scout and recruit foreign-born players.

The Nigerian Football Federation finally backs up decision to scout and recruit foreign-born players for the national team.
The NFF set up a unit to locate and try to persuade players born to Nigerian parents, but living abroad, to play for the Super Eagles.

Following how the NFF lost out on David Alaba, Gabriel Agbonlahor, John Okwunwanne, Angelo Ogbonna, Oguchi Onyewu and Maurice Edu – players who all qualify to play for Nigeria but opted to represent other nations, this expedited the NFF’s decision to fully scout and recruit foreign-born players who are eligible for the African Champions.

According to the NFF's technical director, Emmanuel Ikpeme, the football body has only decided to follow a normal practice.
"There must be a unit within the football secretariat handling matters concerning eligible players, it is the responsibility of the technical department," Ikpeme said.
"The unit's job description will be to search, identify and try to recruit players abroad who genuinely want to play for the country.
"We can only complement the job of the coach because he cannot easily identify all these players on his own.
"We have great respect for the talents in the country; it's exactly why they are the reigning African Champions.
"Those who want to represent Nigeria will be encouraged, given proper guidance and recommended to selectors.
"For those who may decide not to or find it unattractive, we will respect their decision and wish them well."

Capturing them young, young Chelsea starlet Habib Makanjuola has been picked by Nigeria in a final 21-man squad for the FIFA U17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

The tournament kicks off on October 17.

The gifted Makanjuola caught the attention of all when he hit the training camp recently and he will now be one of the players’ coach Manu Garba will be banking on for success at the World Cup.