FIFA said on Tuesday it had approved a request by the US Soccer Federation to change Balogun’s national eligibility from England. The 21-year-old, born in New York, was also eligible Nigeria.
Balogun was born in Brooklyn, although his Nigerian parents lived in London.
“My parents were on vacation there for a few months because we have family in New York,” Balogun said in an interview with the Ligue 1 website this season. “But soon after I was born, we all moved back to London.”
As Balogun acknowledged “London is my city, where I grew up, where my friends are, and if people ask me where I come from, I say I’m English. But, yeah, I’m a mixture of all of these cultures.”
He played for England and the United States at youth level before establishing himself in the England Under-21s.
His decision to represent the United States comes five weeks before they play England in the European Under-21 Championship they are hosting Romania And Georgia. The FA also had to agree to the eligibility change.
FIFA rules allow players to change national eligibility before playing in a competitive match at a senior level.
Balogun was courted by the United States for a visit to Florida in March and could pick him up for Florida State CONCACAF Gold Cupwhich it hosts from June 24 to July 16.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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