The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has dispatched a letter to English Premiership side, Chelsea requesting that Nigerian youngster, Habib Makanjuola be allowed to join the Golden Eaglets ahead of the 2013 Under-17 World Cup to be hosted in the UAE between October 17 and November 8.
Makanjuola, who impressed the Coach Manu Garba-led technical crew during the National Under-17 team’s open screening last month, has pledged his allegiance to Nigeria; saying it would be a dream come true for him to play for the Golden Eaglets.
“I’m a Nigerian boy through-and-through and the only country I want to play for is Nigeria,” said the 14-year-old; former National Under-13 player when he attended the screening. “I’m determined to do the best I can to be part of the Golden Eaglets to the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.”
Speaking on the development, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, NFF’s Director Technical, said it was imperative that the Osun State-born youngster be given the chance to join the camp as soon as possible in order to blend with the squad.
“Of course, we expect Chelsea to release Makanjuola on time since the coaches said he could be useful to the team,” noted Dr. Ikpeme.
“Makanjuola has already done the mandatory Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan at the Abuja National Hospital, so the only thing left is for him to come and compete against the rest of the players for a
place in the squad for the World Cup.”
Coach Garba has reiterated that Makanjuola has what it takes to be part of the team with a caveat that he would be given the chance to fight his way into the World Cup-bound squad like any other player: “Of course, we have seen that Makanjuola can be useful to the team and that is why we have extended the invitation to him but team selection here is based only on merit.”