FIFA Grants German-Born Akpoguma Clearance To Switch To Nigeria

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), has granted the application of Kevin Akpoguma to switch his international allegiance from Germany to Nigeria.

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Melvin Pinnick announced this via his personal Twitter handle on Monday evening.

“I’m extremely happy to announce that @FIFAcom has just granted Hoffenheim defender and former German U-20 national team skipper Kevin Ufuoma Akpoguma permission to make his switch to Nigeria with immediate effect,” Pinnick tweeted.

The NFF had earlier announced in the statement on Wednesday that the 25-year-old defender Hoffenheim defender, who was not invited for the friendly matches against Algeria and Tunisia – had joined the Eagles camp in Austria to familiarise with the team while awaiting FIFA clearance.

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Akpoguma, who has a Nigerian father and a German mother, had in 2018 first signified his intention to play for the Eagles.

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has revealed in September that he had convinced the defender to play for Nigeria.

Born in the western German town of Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Akpoguma started his professional career at Karlsruhe SC and also played for Fortuna Düsseldorf.

He represented Germany from U-16 level to the U-21s, and captained the German U-20 side at the 2015 U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, helping the Europeans beat a Nigerian side 1-0 in the Round of 16.

He was the captain of the German U-20 team that reached the quarter-finals of the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

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“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I am now at an age where I have already gained experience at European level with TSG and feel ready to play for my homeland,” Akpoguma told Hoffenheim’s official website last week.

“It makes me incredibly proud and I am positively excited. I’m real
ly looking forward to getting to know the team.”

The centre-back made 18 league appearances for Hoffenheim last season, helping them to finish sixth in the campaign. He has made three league appearances for them this season.

He becomes the latest player to follow in the footsteps of Cyril Dessers, Ola Aina, Tyrone Ebuehi, Kingsley Ehizibue, Maduka Okoye, Brian Idowu and Joe Aribo who all switched allegiance to Nigeria under the watch Gernot Rohr.

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