Ashleigh Plumptre is now eligible to feature for the Nigeria Women’s team after getting approval to switch her international allegiance from England to the Super Falcons.
The Leicester City defender had already been capped for England at youth level with 30 matches under her belt.
And due to her father’s Nigerian heritage, Plumptre, who has a British mother will now get the opportunity to represent the Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) champions.
She got the clearance from Fifa to play for Nigeria as a result of the grandparent rule and is available for selection for the 2022 AWCON play-off against Ivory Coast in February.
Plumptre, 23, was part of the Nigeria squad in two camps in Austria and Abuja as they prepare for AWCON play-offs.
“We are happy to receive Ashleigh’s official clearance from Fifa,” said Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) director of communications Ademola Olajire.
“It was only possible because of her commitment and dedication. She made the federation’s work a lot easier by providing all the requirements in quick time.
“Her professionalism and unflinching desire to play for Nigeria is honestly heart-warming. That big move on her part obviously helped a lot and prevented the long wait for the FA’s response.
“Ashleigh personally approached the English FA directly to get the required international clearance from months to acquiring all the required documents – a Nigerian passport and her grandfather’s documents and then officially requesting clearance from the four home nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) as well from Nigerian internal affairs,” added Olajire.
Olajire said Plumptre is eager to play for Nigeria as she submitted all the required documents ‘ in a few months without being forced or persuaded.’
“We’ve been through this Fifa process with other players in the past and others needed to be reminded. Ashleigh made personal sacrifices to ensure a smooth clearance.”
Plumptre joins the likes of Michelle Alozie, Patricia George and Nicole and Toni Payne, who all decided to switch nations and represent the nine-time African champions.
She has featured in 25 games this season in the Women’s Super League (WSL) for the Foxes and had stints in the United States with USC Trojans and LA Galaxy.