Ogenyi Onazi – Super Eagles stand-in skipper has been denied work permit in England

Nigeria’s poor aggregate FIFA Rankings over the last two years may have worked against Ogenyi Onazi’s application for a work permit to feature for English Championship side Birmingham City.

Nigeria are currently ranked 38th by the FIFA global Ranking, but a BBC report has suggested the FA in England may have instead aggregated Nigeria’s ratings by FIFA for the past two years and that was why they rejected an appeal by Birmingham City even after a first application for a work permit for the midfielder was rejected.

Onazi has played more than 80% of Nigeria’s games in the last two years, which should ordinarily have given him a work permit in England.

Additionally, he has been Eagles stand-in captain in the absence of Mikel Obi this year.

In January, another Nigeria star, Efe Ambrose, was denied a work permit to play on loan at another English Championship side Blackburn Rovers on loan from Scottish champions Celtic.

He was forced to return to Scotland and will eventually play on loan at Hibernian after which he joined the club permanently.

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