Aluko de­fends Alli, Ibe’s Eng­land choice

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

Hull City midfielder Sone Aluko feels the neg­a­tiv­ity sur­round­ing Liver­pool and Tot­ten­ham young­sters Jor­don Ibe and Dele Alli’s de­ci­sions to play for Eng­land in­stead of Nige­ria is nat­u­ral hu­man re­ac­tion but should be un­der­stood in proper con­text.

On Thurs­day, Alli made his Three Lions de­but in a game against Es­to­nia while Ibe an­nounced his de­ci­sion to await an Eng­land call up to coach Sun­day Oliseh last month.

Aluko, who also had to make the de­ci­sion to rep­re­sent Nige­ria in­stead of Eng­land more than six years ago, says it’s one of the big­gest choices a player with dual na­tion­al­ity has to make.

While the 26-year-old chose Nige­ria, his older sis­ter Eniola chose to play for the English Women na­tional team and reached the World Cup semi fi­nals in June.

“I think it’s very, very tough,” Aluko told Goal at the Cam­pos Mini Sta­dium on Satur­day where he was guest of hon­our at the COD Amb­basador’s Cup. “I grew up in the UK, UK academy, UK football, all you know is English football and that set up which is very or­ga­nized, highly struc­tured and you can see a clear path­way.

“So to leave that and come to the some­what un­known Nige­rian football, you hear many sto­ries of what Nige­rian football could be like. It’s a big step for any­body.”

Aluko, scorer of both goals as Nige­ria drew 2-2 with South Africa in Cal­abar last year, a draw which meant the Su­per Ea­gles failed to qual­ify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Na­tions, has been work­ing with Na­tional League side COD United, which has in­vested in youth football de­vel­op­ment via the Am­bas­sador’s Cup open to play­ers be­low 17 years.

“When I tell play­ers, I don’t tell them to choose Nige­ria or choose Eng­land, go with your heart, get as much in­for­ma­tion as you can and de­cide,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.