Sunday’s African Cup of Nations quarter-final between Cameroon and Nigeria has taken an added twist with the news that Inter Milan striker Obafemi Martins could pledge his allegiance to Cameroon. Martins has been named in Cameroon’s squad for an Olympic qualifier later this month – having long been tipped to be a Nigerian international.
The striker was listed in coach Jean-Paul Akono’s preliminary 40-man squad for the match against Ivory Coast on 22 February in Yaoundé.
He has been called up to the team’s camp in Ombe, a small hideout in the South West Province of Cameroon.
The 19-year-old, who has had a successful season so far in Italy’s Serie A, has twice turned down the chance to play for Nigeria.
He was named in the initial Super Eagles’ squad for the Cup of Nations, but turned down the call-up, saying that going to Tunisia would be “injurious” to his club career.
And in October last year Martins withdrew at the last minute from playing for Nigeria in the All Africa Games football tournament.
Newspaper reports in Cameroon have suggested he is wishing to make the switch as he was born in the disputed Bakassi peninsula.
The oil-rich island was officially confirmed as part of Cameroon by an international court in The Hague in 2002.