Saturday, January 17, 2015
The Nigerian Striker Who Wants To Represent Pakistan
KARACHI: With some eye-catching performances in K-Electric’s Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) title, the idea of playing Nigerian striker Oludeyi Abayomi Sunday as a naturalised-Pakistani in the upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers has been floated in the country’s football circles.
Sunday’s blinding pace and movement was the catalyst in helping Hasan Baloch’s side clinch their maiden crown and he isn’t averse to the idea of featuring for Mohammed Al Shamlan’s side.
With the striker haven’t as yet featured for his native country at senior level, Sunday could be eligible to play for Pakistan if he’s granted citizenship of the country. But for that he’ll have to live in Pakistan continuously for five years, according to FIFA’s eligibility rules.
“I love this country,” Sunday told Dawn in an informal chat after inspiring K-Electric a 2-0 win over Pakistan Army which helped seal their maiden PPFL crown on Friday. “If I get the nationality, I won’t mind playing for Pakistan in the future.”
With the first-round of the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup to be held in March, Sunday wouldn’t meet the eligibility requirements set by world football’s governing body but he may be primed for a Pakistan debut come the qualifiers of the 2022 edition.