Super Eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr has expressed a deep level of doubt over the possibility of Arsenal’s fast-rising Nigerian-born winger, Bukayo Saka playing for his father’s country, as the Franco-German gaffer acknowledged that the process of getting the lad to officially switch allegiance from England could take too long to execute.
Speaking gainst the backdrop of the recent formal invitation of Chelsea duo, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori to England’s senior national team, with the possibility of them both getting cap-tied should they play upcoming games against Czech Republic and Bulgaria, Rohr hinted that the same may soon happen to Saka as well.
Saka continues waxing strong, making waves and growing through the ranks in Arsenal’s main team this season, which has set him up for a possible invitation by Nigeria, but Rohr pointed out that the youngster has already played for England at youth team levels.
It means Nigeria Football Federation 9NFF) will have to go through the prolix and tedious process of formalizing his change in nationality by world soccer governing body, FIFA, but Rohr says that could take too much time, with Engfland again nipping in to take advantage of the situation.
Although Rohr acknowledged that the same difficult process was followed through in getting Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina and Semi Ajayi to switch from England to Nigeria, William Trost-Ekong and Tyronne Ebuehi from Holland, Brian Idowu from Russia as well as Leon Aderemi Balogun from Germany, the coach appeared unprepared to follow the same route with Saka.
Rohr told SportingLife: “On Bukayo Saka of Arsenal, it is not easy to invite players who has already played for England or other countries in the U17, U19 or U20 categories. It is very tedious and requires long processes to do so. I could remember that it took us one year before Ola Aina’s issue was resolved before he was cleared by FIFA and way eligible to play for Super Eagles.”