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FA denies Onazi work permit

Nigeria international Ogenyi Onazi has been denied a work permit to play for English Championship side Birmingham City.

ONAZI

Birmingham had agreed terms with the 24-year-old to sign him from Turkish club Trabzonspor.

However the Football Association turned down a first application for a work permit for Onazi last week.

An appeal made by the club was rejected on Wednesday despite Onazi being a regular in the Nigeria national team.

BBC Sport understands that the player and his representatives are bitterly disappointed that the panel rejected an appeal.

According to the daily newspaper Hurriyet, Onazi has been recalled by Trabzonspor to first-team training and is available for this weekend’s clash with Fenerbahce.

Fotomac reported that Birmingham had agreed a €4.5 million deal with Trabzonspor to sign Onazi, but  work permit issues have held up the transfer.

Onazi has played 38 times for the Super Eagles and helped them to win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and reach the last 16 of the World Cup in Brazil a year later.

However Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the last two editions of the Nations Cup has affected his chances of securing a work permit to play in the English Championship.

Despite appearing in over eighty percent of the national team games, Onazi failed to earn a permit after the FA considered the West African nation’s world ranking in the past two years.

They are ranked 38th in the August 2017 ranking, but Nigeria finished 54th on aggregate over the last two years.

Onazi joined current club Trabzonspor from Lazio last year and scored twice in 27 Turkish Super Lig matches last season.

He has 38 caps for Nigeria and was part of their Africa Cup of Nations winning squad in 2013.


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