Fresh “green” hopes rose for fans and supporters of the Super Eagles when Chelsea’s On-Loan striker to Swansea, Tammy Abraham made fresh statements about his international career and future last month.
“There are a lot of things going on and for me that is a sign you are doing something right, if Nigeria is fighting for you and England want you as well,” Abraham told Skysports.
“I’m happy right now and I just want to keep playing my football. Nothing has happened (in terms of the Nigeria FA contacting). I’m not too sure what is going on.”
A lot of sports journalist and soccer enthusiasts particularly in Nigeria misquoted the 20-year-old forward to have opted to play for Nigeria after the Super Eagles picked a ticket for the Mundial in Russia.
The President of the National Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick back in September had alluded to a positive outcome after meeting the England U-21 striker with his parent after the Swansea striker’s wonderful performance against Tottenham Hotspur.
“It’s been a long process but I can tell you authoritatively that 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, by God’s grace we make it to Russia, then he would contest for a chance to represent his fatherland.”
“I have said it often that my relationship with his father would help and so it was important to speak to them together.”
“They are happy with the prospect of playing for Nigeria,” he continued.
“Of course everyone in England can see what Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi have gone on to achieve with Nigeria.
“We must wait because it is not so straightforward with Fifa. But the important thing is that we have made a big capture by getting Tammy.”
Then, the bomb struck. Tammy reacted to the Amaju Pinnick’s assured statements after his return from London.
Tammy said, “Contrary to reports in the media today I would like to clarify that 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 that 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.”
Back in Nigeria, Pinnick’s comment about his relationship with the young forward and his agreement to represent his fatherland has made supporters of the Super eagles to see the off – loan Chelsea player as a ‘bad egg’, taunting him on social media and alleging that just like other players, the young talent will also be dumped by England.
Well, Pinnick might be looking like a saint already but could it be that the NFF boss had made up the news of Tammy’s readiness to play for the Eagle’s or Tammy got brainwashed by his club manager, Paul Clement?
Enter Paul Clement’s quote during a Press conference:
“For me, from my point of view, I hope he (Abraham) stays with the English national team.
“I’m not sure he’d be better off career-wise, I’m saying it because I’m English and he’s a good English talent, so you want him involved with your national team.
“Ultimately, it’s the decision of the player. In some cases, they’ll make the choice because they see a better opportunity, a chance of playing more regularly at international level and in other cases, it’s because it’s where they believe they’re from and they want to represent the country where they were born or where their parents were born and it’s in their culture.
“Whatever their reasons are, it’s down to the player to decide.
“The fact that he’s come through the English system, first at Academy level and also playing for the English national teams, I think that puts them at an advantage.”
Some have alleged that Tammy must have been threatened by his coach to maintain an English status in his international career but his most recent comment seem to have quelled every dent of allegations from different angles particularly, the Nigerian press.
“I see myself as being a long-term England player …That is where my main focus is and I am 100 percent focused here to try and get into that team.
“I was pretty set on England really and playing in the Premier League meant it would be nice to play in the England team as well.”
When asked about Nigeria’s FA interest in him, the 20-year old made the heartbreaking statement though politely.
“It was flattering, but for me my main focus was here. It was nice to know that I was doing something right and going in the right direction.
Pinnick’s quest might have ended with his target ready to represent England in friendlies against Germany and Brazil but his reputation back home might just have gotten bigger and bolder.