The First Vice President Nigeria Football Federation, Mr Seyi Akinwunmi, has frowned at the complaints of football fans about the influx of Nigerian players born and nurtured in Europe into the country’s male senior national team.
In a telephone chat with tribune, Akinwunmi said it’s discriminatory to complain about invitation of the foreign born players often tagged ‘Tokunbo’, to play for Nigeria, their fatherland.
The Chairman, Lagos football Association stressed that every Nigerian whether home grown or foreign bred should be allowed to play for Super Eagles in as much he is good.
According to the Lagos born administrator, “football is a competitive game, the best players should be fielded in Nigeria’s national teams, irrespective of where they were born.
He added “Everybody is a Nigerian if he’s entitled to that nationality. I think it’s discriminatory to call some Nigerian players Tokunbo and express reservations at their inclusion into national teams. Any Nigerian that is good enough to play for his fatherland should be allowed,” he said.
“If this discrimination is allowed to continue, it could lead to tribalism. People will say this one is Hausa, this is Yoruba and that one is Igbo. Sports is a unifier not a divider. Every qualified player should be allowed to play for Super Eagles. That’s my opinion”, Barrister Akinwunmi concluded.
Among the Europe born players prominent in the present Super Eagles squad are Leon Balogun, William Troost Ekong, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina, Bryan Idowu, Tyrone Eboehi as well as Maduka Okoye.