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Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Thursday, 24 March 2011

Nigeria ask Fifa for Victor Moses to switch allegiance

Victor Moses
Moses has represented England at under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels

Nigeria have applied to Fifa to allow England under-21 player Victor Moses to change his national status.

Wigan winger Moses, 20, who was born in Kaduna, is with Nigeria in Abuja for the Africa Cup of Nations match against Ethiopia on Sunday.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said it made the request earlier this week, but Fifa only received it on Thursday.

Fifa said it was likely the process would take a number of working days.

Before the NFF's application, it had been feared that Nigeria might field Moses without Fifa clearance, for which they would have faced a points forfeit and fine.

The English FA, which also need to be consulted, said it had received no approach by Thursday morning.

Moses has lived in England since the age of 11, and has been capped by his adopted country at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level.

As Moses has dual nationality and has not played for England's senior side, he is eligible for Nigeria - once an application has been made to Fifa and approved.

Fifa confirmed that teams fielding ineligible players in official matches would forfeit the points, and pay a minimum fine of 6,500 euros.

We're confident the player will be cleared in time to play for Nigeria on Sunday

Chris Green, Nigeria federation

Nigeria trail leaders Guinea in qualifying Group B by three points after winning one and losing one of their first two fixtures.

Moses was a late call-up for the Ethiopia game after Nigeria tweaked their squad.

"Moses was on our standby list and after we released two of our call-ups to the Olympic team, who will also be in action this weekend, we decided to invite him," said Nigeria assistant coach Simon Kalika.

Chris Green, the chairman of the NFF technical committee, said: "We're confident the player will be cleared in time to play for Nigeria on Sunday."

The player was picked for last month's friendly against Sierra Leone, but stayed away.

Nigeria coach Samson Siasia visited Moses in England in December and received assurances that he was keen to play for Nigeria.

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see also
Nigeria pair are injury doubts
24 Mar 11 |  African
Wigan lose Moses for three months
02 Dec 10 |  Wigan
Teenager Moses seals Wigan move
01 Feb 10 |  Wigan
Three teams in race to sign Moses
29 Jan 10 |  Crystal Palace
Moses signs four-year Palace deal
28 Jul 08 |  Crystal Palace

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