Coachless Nigeria chase trio of European players

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Nigeria
Herenveen's Kenneth Otigba
The Nigeria Football Federation has already applied for Kenneth Otigba to swap from his Hungarian nationality

Managerless Nigeria are looking to Europe for young talent to play for them in October's World Cup qualifiers.

Officials want Dominic Iorfa and Chuba Akpom, who have played for England Under-21's, to switch allegiances.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has applied to Fifa for former Hungary youth player Kenneth Otigba to swap.

"We have talented players at home and we're trying to bring in other eligible players to build a formidable side," NFF's Ademola Olajire told BBC Sport.

"The target is not to draft in players simply because they are born in Europe or playing for big clubs but for them to earn an equal right to compete for Nigeria.

"Victor Moses, Sone Aluko and Alex Iwobi are some notable names who chose Nigeria and continue to challenge for a spot in the national squad.

"A formal approach has been made to these players [Akpom and Iorfa] and we hope to bring in [Kenneth] Otigba once we receive a clearance from Fifa."

NFF vice-president Seyi Akinwunmi on a new Super Eagles coach:
Nigerians will wait till the time we will have a substantive coach. I can't say when. Really, that question needs to be directed to the NFF technical committee.

In March 2015, Otigba rejected a call-up to Hungary's senior side for their 2016 European qualifier against Greece, saying he would rather wait for Nigeria.

Hungary qualified for the tournament in France.

Iorfa, the son of a former Nigeria international of the same name who played for several English clubs including Queens Park Rangers and Peterborough, grew up in Southend before being spotted by Wolves at the age of 15.

The 20-year-old defender made his Wolves debut against AFC Bournemouth in December 2014 and has since become a mainstay of Kenny Jackett's team.

He has played for the England at Under-18 and Under-20 levels before he was drafted in to train with England's full squad in September 2015 as the senior side prepared for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Switzerland.

Akpom, who is currently on loan to Hull City from Arsenal, was born in England to Nigerian parents and was first approached in 2013 by the Nigerian youth selectors.

Otigba, 23, was born in Kaduna in north-western Nigeria before he moved to Hungary at age five with his mother Clara. He joined the youth ranks at Dutch club Heerenveen in 2008 and made his senior debut in December 2012 against Utrecht.

Otigba, who is capable of playing any position across the back four, scored four goals in 38 appearances for Heerenveen this season.

Meanwhile NFF vice-president Seyi Akinwunmi says they are in no hurry to appoint a successor to Sunday Oliseh, who resigned as Super Eagles coach in February.

Salisu Yusuf has been placed in temporary charge of the Super Eagles for friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg on 27 May and 1 June.

"Nigerians will wait till the time we will have a substantive coach. I can't say when. Really, that question needs to be directed to the NFF technical committee," Akinwunmi said.

"Let us not just get a coach, or get one just because we need a coach, because we don't have an urgency in the next couple of months."