It’s embarrassing for the three-time African champions to chase after players not particularly keen on representing her, says ex-international, Abbey George.
George, a member of Super Eagles’ 2004 AFCON bronze-winning team, believes it’s not a terrible idea for the Nigeria Football Federation to go after foreign stars of Nigerian descent should they possess the quality to star for the national team.
The former Port Vale fullback, however, opines that it becomes embarrassing to publicly beg such footballers when Nigeria is not their first country of choice.
The NFF had success convincing the likes of Alex Iwobi, Victor Moses, William Troost-Ekong, and Ola Aina to represent their fatherland but failed in the pursuit of Chelsea’s duo of Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori.
But while Heracles Almelo’s Cyriel Dessers couldn’t hide his desire to wear the green and white kit, QPR’s Ebere Eze has been playing a hide-and-seek game with the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick.
George, though, wants the football body to be more refined in their approach of players who know what it takes to represent the country and is willing to shed tears and blood for her.
“I don’t think it’s a bad idea, because if you look, Victor Moses came and did a good job, now we have Troost-Ekong and Balogun who are also doing well. So I think we have players who are happy to come, but I don’t think we should beg anyone to and plays for us,” George told Brila.
“Nigeria is a big nation, we are one of the best in the world, but I can understand why some of the players are hesitant.
“Some of them are born abroad, they have never been to Nigeria, they know nothing about the culture, so when Nigeria approaches them to come, and they petrify.”
“Basically, we are taking them out of their comfort zone, but the ones who wanted to come are welcome, and the one who did not, we have to respect their decision,” Abbey added.
Nigerian stars in the English topflight are set to resume training with their respective clubs after Premier League shareholders ruled that players can start to train in groups.
The Premier League has been suspended for almost three months due to the coronavirus outbreak that has affected activities worldwide.
During this period, Premier League stars have been training at home personally as the Britain Government ordered a complete lockdown for about six weeks.
However, the lockdown was eased last week, and it was even announced that professional sports could return at the start of June albeit behind closed doors.