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Saido Berahino cleared to swap England for Burundi

13:48 EAT 05/08/2018
Saido Berahino 05262014
The East African nation had first enquired of 24-year-old’s availability in March 2015, and he's set for a runout in Africa

Fifa have granted Saido Berahino permission to switch allegiances from England to Burundi, the East African country’s FA announced.

The Stoke City striker fled his war-ravaged country aged 10 to seek asylum in the UK, joining his mother and siblings in Birmingham.

And he has appeared for six different youth levels for England, starting from the U16s to the U21s between 2009 and 2015.

Scorer of 24 goals in 47 appearances for the Young Lions, Berahino was handed his first national team call-up in November 2014 for a Euro 2016 qualifier and friendly encounter against Slovenia and Scotland respectively.

The former West Bromwich Albion prodigy failed to see action in either games, and, thus remained eligible to turn out for the 148th-placed team in Fifa ranking.

With the Bujumbura-born striker now in their ranks, Burundi who have never participated in a major international tournament will hope he returns to his best as they aim to make the cut for the 2019 African Cup of Nations billed for Cameroon.

Berahino, once a subject of a transfer tussle between many top English Premier League clubs, including Chelsea, has not found the back of the net in 29 months. And will need to be in form to help his side qualify for their first major tournament.

After defeating South Sudan 3-0 on Matchday One, they sit atop Group C and their next test see them travel to take on Gabon on September 7, and the 24-year-old will hope to play a starring role.