MOSES: NIGERIA ASKS FIFA FOR SWAP OF ALLEGIANCE
Nigeria's bid for England's Under-21 star, Victor Moses, to swap allegiance has now been lodged with FIFA. The Nigerian-born 20-year-old is with Eagles in Abuja as the squad prepares to face Ethiopia on Sunday.
Despite claims by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) that it made the request earlier this week, FIFA only received it yesterday.
FIFA would not say how long the process might take but it is likely to be a number of working days.
Fielding ineligible players is punished with points forfeiture and fine.
The English FA, who also needs to be consulted, said that no approach had been made to it by Thursday morning.
Moses was born in Kaduna, Nigeria but has lived in England since the age of 11, and has been capped by his adopted country at Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 levels. As Moses has dual nationality and has not played for England's senior side, he is eligible to play for Nigeria – once an application has been made to FIFA and approved.
FIFA confirmed that teams fielding ineligible players in official matches would forfeit the points, and pay a minimum fine of 6,500 Euros. Nigeria trails leader, Guinea, in qualifying Group B by three points after winning one and losing one of her first two fixtures. Moses was a late call-up for Sunday's 2012 Africa Cup of the squad to play Nations Cup qualifier match for Nigeria.
'Moses was on our standby list and after we released two of our call-ups to the Olympic team who will also be in action this weekend, we decided to invite him,' said Nigeria's Assistant Coach, Simon Kalika. The player was picked for last month's friendly against Sierra Leone, but stayed away. Nigeria's Coach, Samson Siasia, visited Moses in England in December and received assurances he was keen to play for Nigeria.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama has been ruled out of the game because of an ankle injury.