- Player’s father declines telephone talk with Sportinglife
NFF president says it’s a tough call
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) chieftains have reopened discussion with rampaging Chelsea FC of England’s Nigeria-born striker Tammy Abraham to fill the vacuum created with the retirement of Super Eagles’ goal poacher Odion Ighalo after the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations.
In fact, Nigeria’s representatives watched Abraham score two goals for Chelsea on Saturday against Sheffield United at the Stamford Bridge, although the visitors rallied back in the second half to tie the scores at 2-2, much to the consternation of Blues’s fans at the stadium.
Confirming the discussions with Abraham without revealing what transpired with him, NFF President Melvin Amaju Pinnick stated that it would be a tough call to get the Chelsea star to commit his future to Nigeria and Super Eagles, stressing that: ”We will not relent in our quest for good players to play for the country and win laurels. We will keep talking to good players of Nigeria descent to play for their fatherland.
”But like you know, these kids are very independent minded. In fact, we have been told to wait until April 2020, when he hopes to make a final decision on the matter. I told him that he stood a better chance of playing regularly for Nigeria than with England, whihc has a galaxy of strikers of the English stock.
Attempts by Sportinglife to talk with Abraham’s father on telephone proved abortive as he wasn’t ready to talk and would not want to be quoted in any discussion on the matter. Abraham’s father was sitting with NFF’s president Pinnick at the Stamford bridge stadium, as revealed by Skype in a discussion with Sportinglife.
Abraham has scored four goals in his last two games following his well-taken double in Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat of Norwich last week.
Abraham is the first Englishman to score at least two goals in consecutive Premier League appearances for Chelsea since Frank Lampard in January 2010.
But it was not to be Chelsea’s afternoon as a Kurt Zouma own goal secured an improbable draw for Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge. Robinson cut in from the left and curled in a cross that deflected off the shin of Zouma and into the back of the net.