Finidi George: ‘Not My Job To Convince Foreign-Born Players for Super Eagles’

Finidi George: ‘Not My Job To Convince Foreign-Born Players for Super Eagles’

Chukwu Ikechukwu
May 27, 2024 at 8:20 AM
In this article:
Nigeria logo
Michael Olise logo
M. Olise
Crystal Palace logoMEngland logo
Lesley Chimuanya Ugochukwu logo
Chelsea logoMFrance logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF) logo
FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
  • Finidi George has hit back on his role as Super Eagles coach and foreign-born players
  • The 53-year-old coach says it is not his job to convince players to play for Nigeria
  • Nigeria wants Michael Olise and Lesley Ugochukwu to play for the Super Eagles

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Finidi George has confirmed it is the responsibility of the Nigerian Football Federation to convince foreign-born players to play for the Super Eagles and not his job.

Nigeria are alleged to be working on convincing Crystal Palace winger, Michael Olise, and Chelsea midfielder, Lesley Ugochukwu to play for the Super Eagles due to their Nigerian roots.

Michael Olise, Crystal Palace, Super Eagles, Nigeria, England, France.
Michael Olise is eligible to represent England, France, and Nigeria at senior level. Photo by Sebastian Frej.
Source: Getty Images

According to Own Goal Nigeria, Finidi disclosed that his job as a coach is to watch and recommend a player he believes can improve the national team and the NFF takes over the process of convincing the star.

"There's paperwork, procedures, you have to speak to these players, and that is not my job. We have people at the NFF that have been doing that in the past and in the future, they will do that.
"Our job is to watch, and when we see a good player, the people that know the job properly and whose department it is, they will make that happen."

Ademola Lookman, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina, and Semi Ajayi are some of the players who switched nationality to Nigeria after representing England at the youth level.

Finidi hints at new formation

Finidi has more or less confirmed that his Super Eagles team will play in a new shape for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin, Sporting Sun reports.

The 53-year-old tactician has released a 25-man list for the two crucial games next month with superstars like Victor Osimhen, Victor Boniface, and Ademola Lookman all included in the squad.

Finidi has hinted that the Super Eagles could return to their traditional 4-3-3 formation as opposed to the 3-4-3 formation deployed by former coach Jose Peseiro at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations earlier in the year.

Ola Aina dropped from Nigeria's squad

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that the exclusion of Aina by coach Finidi from Nigeria’s squad for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers has fuelled intense discussions and debates.

The Nottingham Forest defender is currently sidelined with an undisclosed injury and had to be dropped for both games next month.

Reports state that Aina has been playing through the latter stages of the Premier League season with the aid of painkillers.

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Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..