The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has debunked claims insinuating that Ademola Lookman was deliberately omitted from Super Eagles AFCON squad, but stated that the 24-year-old is still not completely cleared by FIFA to represent Nigeria.
Lookman, who has represented England at the youth levels, declared his intention to play for Nigeria, his parent country, but was not listed in the 28-man squad for the continental tournament.
His omission from Austin Eguavoen’s squad raised questions among fans in the country ahead of the trip to Cameroon, with many expressing disappointment at the exclusion of the Leicester City man.
Meanwhile, NFF in a statement on Thursday, stated that FIFA is yet to complete the process of switching the international team allegiance of Lookman from England to Nigeria.
“The Nigeria Football Federation has stated categorically that Ademola Lookman of Leicester City FC of England has not yet been cleared by World Football body, Fifa to represent Nigeria at International level. The process for his switch is ongoing,” read a statement from NFF.
“It is therefore incorrect for any medium to claim that interim Head Coach, Austin Eguavoen is the one who axed the player from Nigeria’s final list of 28 for the Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021.
“However, his name was included in the initial provisional list with the belief that the process would have been completed before the commencement of Afcon,” the statement added.
Lookman is currently on a season-long loan from Bundesliga club RB Leipzig and has scored five goals in total for Leicester City across all competitions this season.
On Tuesday, he came off the bench to score the match-winning goal that helped Brendan Rodgers’ side beat Liverpool 1-0 in a Premier League fixture.