Taiwo Atieno Opiyo may be prepared to relinquish British nationality to play in the World Cup for Kenya…

10 Mar 2009 19:42:55

USA-based striker, Taiwo Atieno Opiyo, may have to drop his British nationality in order to feature for the country of his father, Kenya, in a World Cup qualifier against Tunisia.

Kenya football authorities have disclosed that they have contacted FIFA, seeking permission to field the 23-year-old player in a March 28 World Cup qualifier against Tunisia in Nairobi.

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Taiwo, who was born to a Kenyan father, Moussa Awuonda, and a British mother, holds a British passport.

He is among the foreign-based Kenyan players called up by new coach Antoine Hey ahead of the qualifiers.

The Kenyan constitution does not provide for dual citizenship and Taiwo may be forced to renounce his British citizenship to be granted Kenyan papers.

Football Kenya Limited’s Technical Director, Patrick Naggi, said the federation is very much aware of Taiwo’s British nationality and had since written to FIFA, asking the world soccer governing body to clear him to play for Kenya.

“It’s really not that big a deal, all we need to do is to seek FIFA’s approval to avoid complaints that may be raised by our opponents,» said Naggi, a former national team coach.

Taiwo, who teamed up with the Harambee Stars squad this week, plays for US second division side (USL 1), Rochester Rhinos, having switched from another USL 1 club, Puerto Rico Islanders.

Samm Audu,