Anichebe opts for Nigeria

Striker chooses Nigeria

Anichebe: Nigeria call

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Victor Anichebe has turned down the opportunity to represent England in order to play for Nigeria.

The Everton striker was born in Lagos, but was raised on Merseyside and is therefore eligible to represent either nation.

Anichebe has revealed that he was offered the opportunity to play for the England Under 21 side, but he turned the chance down.

The 19-year-old claims Under 21 manager Stuart Pearce personally asked him to opt for England when he visited Everton's training ground in August.

However, Anichebe will instead join the Nigeria squad for the African Cup of Nations 2008 qualifier against Lesotho on Saturday.

Call-up

"I got called by England last week," Anichebe told the Daily Mail. "But I don't really want to play for them I want to play for Nigeria.

"Stuart Pearce had a chat with me and gave me his opinion. I took it on board but I feel Nigeria is better for me."

Sunderland midfielder Dickson Etuhu has also received a call-up from Super Eagles manager Berti Vogts.

Etuhu was first a member of the Nigeria squad in 2002 and Anichebe received a call for the African Cup of Nations qualifier against Uganda in March.

However, neither player managed to play following their respective call-ups and will be seeking their first cap.

Squad in full:

Austin Ejide, Dele Aiyenugba; Rabiu Afolabi, Daniel Shittu, Joseph Yobo, Mutiu Adegoke, Taye Taiwo, Onyekachi Apam, Obinna Nwaneri; Seyi Olofinjana, Onyekachi Okonkwo, Dickson Etuhu, Richard Eromoigbe, John Obi Mikel; Nwankwo Kanu, Obafemi Martins, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Osaze Odemwingie, John Utaka, Ayodele Makinwa, Victor Anichebe, Ikechukwu Uche.