Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) second vice-president, Mallam Shehu Dikko says the soccer governing body should not be blamed for Southampton youngster, Michael Obafemi’s recent call-up by Ireland Republic, as he says the fast-rising attacker was approached during the Super Eagles’ trip to London this summer.
According to reports, Dikko admitted it is disappointing to see Obafemi edging closing to becoming cap-tied by Ireland, but says it is not for want of effort from the NFF.
Born in Dublin to Nigerian parents, the 18-year-old has represented Ireland at youth level, though he was raised in London.
Obafemi made his maiden appearance for Southampton two years ago when he appeared off the bench in their Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur in January 2016.
That appearance made him the second youngest player to play for The Saints at first team level behind Luke Shaw and last weekend he made his second appearance against Manchester City.
While stating that the NFF wish the youngster well in his choice, Dikko disclosed further that the NFF top shots tried to reach the Southampton kid before the Eagles’ game against England prior to the World Cup, but hinted that The Saints’ kid might have stylishly evaded the officials.
Dikko recalled: “We tried getting across to him when we had a training camp in London but we couldn’t get his contact.
“The thing is we are wishing him a successful career with Ireland although we wish he had played for us.”