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Chelsea’s Aina awaits FIFA nod for Nigeria swap


Abuja (AFP) – Chelsea defender Ola Aina is waiting for FIFA clearance to play for Nigeria in World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon, officials said Thursday. 

Aina, who is on a season-long loan at English Championship side Hull City, needs world football’s governing body to approve his decision to play for Nigeria after he represented England at various age-group levels. 

“FIFA has yet to clear Ola Aina for Nigeria. All the paper work has been done by the NFF and also the home countries of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales have all said they do not object to his change,” said a football official in Abuja. 

“And so as long as that approval from FIFA does not come through before the World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon next month, he won’t play for the Eagles.” 

Coach Gernot Rohr has insisted on including the highly-rated defender, who could play at either right-back or left-back, so as to blood him gradually into his squad. 

In the meantime, Rohr said he expected Chelsea ace Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi from Arsenal to be the last players to join his team’s training camp in Uyo, southern Nigeria, ahead of the matches against Cameroon. 

“Every player is expected to arrive in Abuja over the weekend with the exception of Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi, who will be playing on Sunday. They will join up with the team in Uyo on Monday latest,” he said. 

Nigeria face Cameroon on September 1 in Uyo and are expected in Yaounde via a chartered flight next Sunday ahead of the return leg on September 4. 

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