18-year-old Arsenal midfielder and Former England youth international, Alex Iwobi has disclosed that he is delighted to wait until March to make his debut for the country of his birth, Nigeria – BBC report.
Iwobi who is known to be the nephew of the former Nigeria captain Jay-Jay Okocha had been due to play in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Gabon in an All Africa Games qualifier but watched from the stands.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are waiting for clearance from Fifa for his switch of national allegiance.
“I understand I have to wait,” Lagos-born Iwobi told BBC Sport.
“I grew up watching Nigerian football and read all about my uncle’s [Jay-Jay Okocha] remarkable career and the success story of [Nwankwo] Kanu with Nigeria and Arsenal.
“It’s my second time with the U-23s and I think I have made the right decision coming here.”
“Having represented England at youth level, we decided to leave him out against Gabon because it’s an Under-23 game and we’d need a clearance from Fifa before he will be eligible to play for us,” NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire told BBC Sport.
“We’ve already started working on his application and a couple of players for a nationality switch.
“We are doing everything possible to sort this so that he will be eligible to play for Nigeria hopefully in the friendly against Bolivia on March 26.”
Iwobi captains Arsenal’s under-21 side and has represented England at under-16, 17 and 18 levels.