The Nigeria Football Federation has revealed that the inadequate training facilities in the country have forced them to lure players of Nigerian descent in Europe to play for the Super Eagles,
Alex Iwobi has become the poster-boy of the Super Eagles after he switched allegiance to Nigeria in 2016 – a growing trend which has also included the likes of Ola Aina, Joe Aribo, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Maduka Okoye, Tyrone Ebuehi and Bryan Idowu.
Cyriel Dessers, Ademola Lookman and Ovie Ejaria are the latest players to pledge their international allegiance to Nigeria while the NFF are also on the heels of Queens Park Rangers midfielder, Eberechi Eze.
“There’s a cause before an action,” NFF President, Amaju Pinnick told Sports Extra exclusively on the need for players of Nigerian descent to play for the national team.
“What I try to do is that I study the environment. First, why do we have to go out to pick players? Why do we look at the Nigeria Professional Football League and say it is not good enough?
“You look at what obtains in other countries. Who started this? Algeria. If you look at most players who play for Algeria today, (Riyadh) Mahrez, he was born in France, (Islam) Slimani, they went for these players. A couple of years ago, it was Nigeria that demystified them.
“They went and came back stronger. Morocco adopted it. We would not say because we are patriotic and allow our players here (Nigeria) to take charge.
“If the truth be told, most players from the western climes are better exposed and are highly trained than what we can get here. The equipment they are exposed to is another factor too.”