The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has been recruiting Tammy Abraham for a fair while now, and just like with Ola Aina or Alex Iwobi (or Victor Moses, going a bit further back), they are hoping they can convince the England youth international to represent Nigeria at senior level instead. Like Ola, Tammy (and his brother Timmy) were born in England to Nigerian parents.
On Thursday, NFF president Amaju Pinnick declared victory in that process, claiming that after talks with Tammy and his father, the decision had been made.
"I had a very honest and productive discussion with Tammy and his father last week. 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."
-Amaju Pinnick, source: Daily Mail
The talks were held at
White Hart Lane Wembley after Tottenham’s 0-0 draw with Swansea City, where Tammy currently plays on loan from Chelsea. So that much is real and true.
But Tammy himself released a statement soon after Pinnick’s claims were reported, denying any decision and making it clear that he’s available for selection by England still.
“I have informed The FA that I remain available for selection for England."
“Contrary to reports in the media 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."
-Tammy Abraham; source: BBC
Abraham’s international career thus appears to be at a crossroads and the time for England to pick him seems to be running out. Then again, would playing for England or playing for Nigeria be better for Tammy’s career? That may not be an easy or obvious decision to make.