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Shola Ameobi and Victor Moses will now be able to play for Nigeria, their country of birth, after FIFA approved their respective nationality switch applications on October 26.
In a release from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the pair has been granted leave to now represent the Super Eagles after having appeared in the colors of England at youth level.
Ameobi, 30, was born in Zaria, northern Nigeria but played 20 times for the England Under-21s between 2000 and 2003 where he scored seven goals. However, he did not make progression into the Three Lions' senior squad.
Moses, 20, was born in Kaduna but moved to England when he was 11 years-old. He has played for all the English youth teams.
Both players were invited by former Nigeria handler Samson Siasia during his short time in charge of the team and were supposed to make their debut in a friendly in February but were hampered by a late application for nationality switch.
“After having thoroughly examined the entire documentation remitted by the Nigerian Football Federation, the Single Judge concluded that the player Victor Moses fulfills the objective prerequisites as provided for in Art. 18 Par 1 of the Regulations. In particular, the player has never represented the Football Association representative team at “A” international level," read a statement from FIFA on the subject.
“Furthermore, the Single Judge also took due note of the fact that, based on the document dated 7 July 2011, issued by the “National Population Commission” in Garki-Abuja, Nigeria, the player in question already held the Nigerian nationality before representing England for the first time in an international match in a U-17 official competition on 23 March 2007 as he is a Nigerian citizen by birth."
The same statement was made in the case of Ameobi.
While it is not known if the two will fit into the plans of a new coach that is expected to be announced by the NFF this week, Moses and Ameobi could both be in line to represent their country in its newly scheduled November friendlies.
The Super Eagles will face Botswana on Nov. 11 in the northern city of Kaduna before facing Zambia in the southern Benin City on Nov. 15. The the locations of both games represent a move away from Nigeria's traditional home stadium in Abuja, the capital.
While Nigeria failed to make the cut in qualifying for the 2012 African Cup of Nationa, both its opponents will be using the games as preparation for the finals, to be held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon from Jan. 21 to Feb. 12.
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