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Fifa approves Akpoguma youth star’s switch to Nigeria

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The 25-year-old has already teamed up with the Super Eagles for their upcoming friendlies, having been cleared by the world football governing body

Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick has confirmed Fifa’s approval of Kevin Akpoguma to switch allegiance to Nigeria.

The defender was born to a German mother and a Nigerian father and has represented Germany at various youth levels.

Akpoguma is, however, still eligible to feature for the Super Eagles since he is yet to play for the European country’s senior team.

The centre-back has been delivering consistent performances for Bundesliga side Hoffenheim since joining the club in 2015.

Last season, he made 18 league appearances for the Kraichgauer to help his side finish sixth in the campaign.

Ahead of the West Africans’ friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia on October 9 and 13 respectively, Pinnick revealed the 25-year-old has been given the green light to play for Nigeria.

“I’m extremely happy to announce that Fifa has just granted Hoffenheim defender and former German U20 national team skipper Kevin Ufuoma Akpoguma permission to make his switch to Nigeria with immediate effect,” Pinnick tweeted.

Akpoguma has already linked up with Gernot Rohr’s men in Austria, who are preparing for their games against the Desert Foxes and the Carthage Eagles.

Last month, Super Eagles coach Rohr explained how he convinced the defender to make his switch to the three-time African champions.

“It was not my job to convince [Kevin] Akpoguma to come and play for Nigeria. I had a good conversation with him and his family while watching several games in Hoffenheim,” Rohr said.

“After the matches, we met and could talk. I presented our projects and I could speak about the team, about this incredible period in the Super Eagles and my vision for the team.

“He was sold on this and would love to be a part of the team and play in big international competitions like the Africa Cup of Nations or even the World Cup.

“We are very happy about the decision of Kevin Akpoguma to switch from Germany to Nigeria. Because he played for Germany at youth level, the process is not finished yet because Fifa must give the authorisation.

“He has fulfilled the written request to the switch and we only await the good news that he can finally play for us.”

Having been cleared by Fifa, Akpoguma could play a part in Super Eagles’ friendlies in Austria.

READ ALSO :  FIFA estimates COVID-19 will cost global football $11 billion

About Kirigaya Kazuto

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Kazuto Kirigaya, born as Kazuto Narusaka, is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Sword Art Online series of light novels written by Reki Kawahara.

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