US female soccer player dumps US to play for Super Falcons


US U23 star Antionette Oyedupe Payne has said she has opted to change her international allegiance to Nigeria after consulting her family.

‘Toni’ Payne, whose parents Oyekele and Mojemilat Payne are Nigerians, has been in the US programme since she was 13 and represented the US at the U17 FIFA World Cup in Azerbaijan.

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She has also been part of the US U23 team since January.

“I am ready to play for Nigeria now after thinking about this decision for the past one year and getting the support of my family,” she said.

The attacking midfielder or centre-forward has never visited Nigeria, but she said she has followed the country’s women’s teams and can hold her own in the Super Falcons.

“I know Nigeria have some good players and play an attacking style and personally this fits my style,” Payne said.

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“My best position is attacking midfield, but I could also play as a centre-forward.

“I believe if I am given a chance, I will prove myself again.”

Her younger brother Stephen is on the books of Portuguese club Estoril, while younger sister Nicole has been scouted for the US U17s.

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