Chelsea FC’s Tammy Abraham says he’s available for England despite talks with Nigeria
Tammy Abraham has denied reports he is set to switch international allegiances to Nigeria in a bid to play at next year’s World Cup and insisted: “I remain available for selection for England.” The Chelsea striker, who is on a season-long loan to Swansea, played for England at this summer’s European Under-21 Championship in Poland but remains eligible for Nigeria through his parents. Last week, Amaju Pinnick, the president of the Nigerian Football Federation, said he was hopeful of persuading the 19-year-old to switch allegiance, despite representing England at various youth levels, thanks to his close relationship with Abraham’s father, who is a childhood friend.
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On Thursday, Pinnick claimed Abraham has agreed to play for Nigeria and added they have now begun the process of applying to Fifa to transfer his registration. Abraham denied those reports and said he remains available for Aidy Boothroyd’s squad.
“I had a very honest and productive discussion with Tammy and his father last week,” Pinnick said. “It’s been a long process but I can tell you authoritatively he has agreed to play for Nigeria and not England. He and his parents have started the necessary documents to effect the switch.
“Clearly he understands he stands a better chance playing for the Super Eagles. With his talent he has the ability to fight for a place in the Nigeria squad and if we make it to Russia, he would contest for a chance to represent his fatherland.”
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) September 21, 2017
Abraham said in a statement: “Contrary to reports I would like to clarify I have not agreed to switch my national team allegiance. I can confirm I met the president of the NFF after our last game against Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday given he is a friend of my father.
“However, any suggestion I have made a decision to change my international representation is incorrect and wide of the mark. I have informed the FA that I remain available for selection for England.”
Nigeria are three points clear at the top of Group B as they attempt to qualify for a third successive World Cup.
Abraham, who signed a lucrative five-year contract before completing his loan move to Swansea, would have become the latest young player to turn his back on England. His Chelsea club-mate Victor Moses and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi represent Nigeria, while Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace opted to play for Ivory Coast.
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