Huge blow for Nigeria and England as Folarin Balogun switches allegiance to United States

After months of speculation, Folarin Balogun has finally agreed to represent the United States of America (USA) over England and Nigeria.

The 21-year-old made the decision to switch his allegiance having been snubbed by England boss Gareth Southgate. The Arsenal signee, who is currently on loan with French side Reims, was born in the US to Nigerian parents but raised in England.

Huge blow for Nigeria and England as Folarin Balogun switches allegiance to United States

Balogun played for the US at under-18 level, before switching to England’s Under-21s. He withdrew from the squad in March because of injury and will not play in the upcoming European Under-21 Championship.

FIFA rules allow players to switch national eligibility before making a competitive senior appearance at international level.

FIFA on Tuesday, May 16, announced that Balogun’s switch from England to the U.S. has been approved, paving the way for him to become US Men National Team (USMNT) next star striker.

Speaking to US Soccer’s official website, Balogun said the decision was a β€œno-brainer” and he feels at β€œhome”.

Huge blow for Nigeria and England as Folarin Balogun switches allegiance to United States

He said;

β€œWhen I broke the news to my family they were all just over the moon, especially my mom. She said, β€˜What took you so long?’

β€œTo represent the United States means a lot, more than people would know. I’m very proud and honoured to have this opportunity, and I want to give everything I have to make our team successful.”

Balogun previously said he’s open to representing Nigeria. The prolific striker has scored 19 goals in 34 Ligue 1 matches for Reims this season.

Following the switch, he is expected to join the U.S. team at the CONCACAF Nations League finals next month.

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