Connect with us


Will Tyronne Ebuehi Really Play for Nigeria ?

It  is all confusion surrounding Tyronne Ebuehi’s international future as his decision to play for Nigeria takes another twist. Ebuehi initially turned down Nigeria national team call-up for the World Cup 2018 qualifiers, after the player instead chose to focus on improving his club form for ADO Den Haag.

“I see it as a great honor that I am recognized in my homeland,” said the full-back on Monday. “But at this moment ADO Den Haag requires my full attention, especially now that I have settled in the team.”

Despite turning down Nigeria as they prepare for this month’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Algeria, the 20-year-old is still open minded to the possibility of one day playing for the Super Eagles citing, wrong timing as the reason for his decision to turn down the call.

Ebuehi through his agent, Wessel Weezenberg, added, “Therefore, it seems to me that now does not seem the right time to travel to Nigeria for the match. I want to focus completely on the club, but I certainly do not rule out that I will honor a possible next call.”

But according to, the president of the Nigerian Football, Amaju Pinnick, confirmed otherwise. Pinnick admits contacting Ebuehi’s father whom he says is certain of his son playing for Nigeria.

Pinnick told, “It’s not true. His agent (Wessel Weezenberg) is behind that statement, it was done without the consent of the player. As a matter of fact, his father confidently told me that he will play for Nigeria.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”For now, we don’t know why the agent is trying to block him from Nigeria. He earlier denied contact with Nigeria over his services. But we are speaking with his family. We have their word. He will play for Nigeria.”[/perfectpullquote]

Ebuehi is eligible to play for Nigeria although, he was born in Netherlands to a Dutch mother and a Nigerian father. He has not featured for the Dutch team as yet but his unavailability for Nigeria will excite his country of birth, at the chance of one day playing for the Europeans.

Dutch journalist, Jermain Leitbig, urged Netherlands’ football authority to keep a firm grip on the defender, as part of the plan to build-up the country’s future stars, a loss he says ‘will be a disservice to the system that produced him’.

“It’s a no brainer. You can’t allow players educated in the system to go like that. It will be a fool hardy to do so. We have lost some young players to other nations in the past, who ended up becoming super stars. We need to stop it.

“The FA should in their capacity hold talks with the duo and assure them of their plans for them. Even if the players refuse to wait, let it be known that they tried,” Leitbig told

But some feel Netherlands may not live up to its promise of developing its potential star to fit into their regular squad. Former Nigeria international, Garba Lawal expressed his concerns over Ebuehi’s decision, fearing the 20-year-old’s international career for Netherlands may instead turn for the worst.

Lawal who played in the Dutch Eredivisie league between 1996 and 2002, said, “If he’s thinking of playing for Holland, the Dutch will only use and dump him. When I was playing in Holland with (Tijani) Babangida, there were some Moroccans of Dutch decent who preferred to play for the Dutch, but they didn’t go far.”

But Nigerians may also wonder how its football body appears to be on the losing side. Lawal, a member of the technical committee of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), shifted blame from the football association to the national team coach.

“Ebuehi doesn’t know the African mentality, it is not his fault. We don’t know whether they talked to him, we have to speak to the coach because we don’t know how the name came up, it is an embarrassment.

“They don’t inform Nigerians before calling them up but his own case is different, he was born in Netherlands. They would have talked to him first to know which country he wants to play for.

“The coach is based in Germany; Germany to Holland is a short distance. The coach has to fly and meet him at his club. There is foul play somewhere,” the Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games gold medalist said.

Ebuehi so far has seven appearances this season for ADO and was part of a plan to fit him in the right-back position for Nigeria. His withdrawal from national duty will force Nigeria’s head coach, Gernot Rohr, to restructure his defense with only ten days left to face Algeria in what may be, the toughest World Cup qualifier game, on the continent.


Featured Photo: Tyronne Ebuehi’s international career uncertain (ESPN)

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Football

Translate »