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Striker Tammy Abraham denies switching allegiance to Nigeria

INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL

Striker Tammy Abraham denies switching allegiance to Nigeria

Striker Tammy Abraham denies switching allegiance to Nigeria

GLYN KIRK

AFP

Abraham has reaffirmed his commitment to England following claims that the Chelsea man, who is on loan at Swansea, has opted to play for the Super Eagles.

Swansea City's on-loan Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has denied reports that he is set to switch allegiance from England to Nigeria.

On Thursday, the Nigeria Football Federation revealed that Abraham recently met with their president Amaju Pinnick, who, as quoted by The Sun, confirmed that the 19-year-old had agreed to play for the Super Eagles.

The striker, who has represented England at Under-18 and Under-19 level, was born in London, but is eligible to play for Nigeria through his father.

Abraham: "I remain available for England"

Abraham admitted meeting with Pinnick, but denied claims that he had made the decision to change his international representation.

"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."

Paul Clement’s influence?

Many claim that Abraham rejected playing for Nigeria as Paul Clement, his manager at Swansea, is English.

Nigerian radio personality Temisan Okomi said that if club managers are not British, it is easier to persuade players to choose the Super Eagles over England.

“Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina and Victor Moses all had one thing in common; non-English coaches + strong Nigerian player influence when they switched,” wrote Okomi on his Twitter page.

In an interview, Clement urged Abraham to remain in the England national squad.

"For me, from my point of view, I hope he stays with the English national team," Clement said. "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."

Players like Chelsea’s Moses, Arsenal’s Iwobi and Reading’s Sone Aluko are among those who have represented England at youth levels before switching to play for Nigeria.

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