Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) 2nd vice president Shehu Dikko has clarified the rationale behind the invitation of Arsenal U21 star Alex Iwobi to the Super Eagles for a series of the friendlies against DR Congo and Cameroon next month.
Iwobi, 19, has been handed a late invitation by Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh.
Shehu Dikko, who is also the chairman of the Nigeria league, has now disclosed Sunday Oliseh did so for U23 coach Samson Siasia, who needs the youngster for the U23s and he must therefore play at full international stage for Nigeria to make that happen.
“The call-up to Iwobi is simple a footballing as well technical one and for the good of the country. Iwobi has declared intention to represent Nigeria and he is good enough to represent Nigeria at U23 level. However, as he has played for England at the junior level he cannot play for Nigeria again at the junior level as FIFA would only approve his change of nationality if he plays for the main Super Eagles,” wrote Shehu Dikko on his Facebook page.
“Therefore, his call-up now is to get his nationality change sorted and thus make him available to play for the Nigeria U23 if selected.
“Hence, Oliseh called him up on the request of Siasia who wants to use him for the U23s and by this action Nigeria will have secured his allegiance and this would also further motivate other players like him to come along.
“Finally on footballing terms, the potential of Iwobi is not in doubt based on what he did during Arsenal pre-season so in the long term this might be a very good decision for Nigeria and Iwobi.”