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Nigeria’s Lookman can't wait to put on Super Eagles shirt after switch from England

08:02 GMT 12/02/2022
Ademola Lookman - Leicester City
The 24-year-old reveals his delight at Fifa’s decision to grant him permission to feature for the Super Eagles

Ademola Lookman has talked for the first time after world governing body Fifa granted his wish to play for Nigeria instead of England.

The 24-year-old winger, who currently turns out for Premier League side Leicester City but on loan from RB Leipzig, had in January 2020 put in place requirements to switch his international commitment to the Super Eagles and this was approved two days ago.

Lookman has now taken to his social media pages to reveal his delight at Fifa’s decision and thanks Nigeria fans for the warm welcome.

“Delighted to announce Fifa has approved my nationality switch,” Lookman wrote on his social media pages. “Thank you for the warm welcome and I can’t wait to put on the Super Eagles shirt and represent the country.”

Prior to his request to switch allegiance, Lookman, who was born in Wandsworth, South West London but qualified to represent the Super Eagles through his parents, had already featured for England at U19, U20, and U21 levels.

He received his first international call-up when he was named in the England U19 squad named for Mexico and was subsequently named in the squad for the European U19 Championships that summer.

In early 2017, Lookman turned down the opportunity to switch allegiance to Nigeria after an approach from then national team coach, Gernot Rohr.

Lookman was selected in the England U20 team for the 2017 Fifa U20 World Cup. He scored three goals in the tournament, two against Costa Rica in the Round of 16 and one goal against Italy in the semi-finals.

England went on to beat Venezuela 1-0 in the final, to achieve the country's first victory in the final of a global tournament since the 1966 World Cup.

Despite being shortlisted in the Super Eagles squad for the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon where the team failed to go past the Round of 16, he did not make the final list because Fifa had not sanctioned the request at the time.

“The Nigeria Football Federation has stated categorically Ademola Lookman of Leicester City of England has not yet been cleared by world football body, Fifa to represent Nigeria at international level. The process for his switch is ongoing,” NFF clarified in a statement ahead of the Afcon.

“It is therefore incorrect for any medium to claim that interim head coach, Austin Eguavoen is the one who axed the player from Nigeria’s final list of 28 for the Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021.

“However, his name was included in the initial provisional list with the belief that the process would have been completed before the commencement of Afcon.”

Lookman has so far scored three Premier League goals for the Foxes after managing 15 appearances and raking in 961 minutes of play.