Birmingham City forward Viv Solomon-Otabor has reportedly turned down the opportunity to play for Three Lions of England stating that he wants to represent the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Otabor who was previously on the books of Premier League giants Crystal Palace has been a target for the Amaju Pinnick led Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The 22-year-old forward was given birth to in London, England but his parents are from Edo State, Nigeria.
In a report by Complete Sports, Otabor decided to represent Nigeria despite being earlier called up to the England U-21 squad by Aidy Boothroyd which included NFF target Ademola Lookman for the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifiers against Andorra and Scotland.
Viv Solomon-Otabor to play for Nigeria
The report states that his admiration or Nigeria and the urge to wear the green and white influenced his decision to turn down England.
He said, “Now I’m 22 I feel like I’ve got a lot of experience with over 80 league appearances under my belt and if I get into the Super Eagles team I can do well.
“I’ve matured physically and I’m more powerful than when I was before. So a chance is all I need to prove myself.”
“I hope for an opportunity to show the manager and his staff what I can do.”
Otabor who previously trained with Nigeria’s U-23 that went on to win a bronze medal at 2016 in Rio De Janiero, stated that he was unable to make the team to the 2015 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) as the tournament was not in the FIFA Calendar and permission was an issue.
He said, “It was rather unfortunate I could not make the team because the games didn’t fall on the FIFA’s international match calendar.”
He then went on to reveal that he hopes to get an opportunity to the senior team just like Arsenal midfielder Alex Iwobi, Rotterdam defender Semi Ajayi who also snubbed England.
He said, “But I hope I get the chance to prove my worth like Moses, Iwobi and Semi Ajayi are now doing.”
Otabor along with Liverpool forward Sheyi Ojo are expected to be called up for the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2019.