Former England youth international, Alex Iwobi is satisfied with his decision to play for Nigeria despite having to wait until March to make his debut for his birth country.
Iwobi’s father, Chuka, says the entire family cannot wait to start watching the Arsenal FC midfielder in the “green-white-green” colours of Nigeria.
Iwobi traveled to Gabon with the Nigeria U-23 national team at the weekend, but could not feature in the 4-1 All-Africa Games qualifying win as the NFF has yet to receive clearance from Fifa for his switch of national allegiance.
The 18-year-old to the BBC he “understands he has to wait.” While the 7 March reverse against Gabon is deemed too soon for his awaited debut pending completion of paper works, NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire is optimistic Iwobi could feature for the Super Eagles against Bolivia in Uyo.
“We’ve already started working on his application and a couple of players for a nationality switch,” Olajire told BBC.
“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 has represented England at Under-16, 17 and 18 levels. The Lagos-born ace captains Arsenal’s Under-21 side and scored eight times in 35 appearances for the north London club at various youth levels last season.
“He turned out for England at U-16, U-17 and U-18 levels in a number of friendlies and invitational tournaments, but we are all eager for him to play for Nigeria at senior level,” Anambra State native, Chuka, a lawyer, told the NFF official website.
“I can’t believe the publicity that he has amassed over the past weeks. You open the papers and they are talking about Alex, and also on the radio. It’s amazing.”
The teenager, who is nephew of ex-Nigeria skipper, Jay-Jay Okocha, was named in Arsenal’s substitute bench for the Uefa Champions League Match Day 6 clash with Galatasaray in November.