Both Western African countries have shared football players and athletes in the past, in addition to their rich histories.
Several players in the current Super Eagles squad have had to switch their country of allegiance to Nigeria. Players like Super Eagles defender William Troost Ekong, newly capped Ademola Lookman, and Alex Iwobi have previously been listed under the Netherlands and England flags.
Players born in one country but choosing to play for the other have been the common denominator of the English language between Nigeria and Ghana.
Nigerian players have spread their tentacles across Africa to represent other countries. Emmanuel Adebayor and Rasaq Omotoyosi, who played for Togo and Benin Republic, respectively, are two examples of hugely successful players. In this FIFA window, a genuine Nigerian player, Tosin Aiyegun, chose to represent Benin Republic over the Super Eagles due to the long queue.
Premium Times focused its investigation on players of Nigerian descent who represented Ghana and vice versa.
Ganiu Salami, a Nigerian who played for Ghana.
The former U-17 coach was a dual citizen of Ghana and Nigeria. Salami, also known as ‘Salakwa,’ was born in Accra and attended St. John’s Grammar School before joining Hearts of Oak after playing for Ghana Academicals. He first played for the Ghanaian national team on two continental occasions, winning the Nation Cup in 1963 and 1965, respectively.
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In 1967, he switched allegiance to Nigeria and competed for the country in the 1968 Summer Olympics. Salami became the Super Eagles’ assistant coach in the 1984 and 1988 Nations Cups after retiring from playing.
Abdul Rasak, Karim Tanko
Rasak was born in Ghana and is known as the “golden boy” of the country. The assailant was born in Kumasi, Ghana, on April 18, 1956. He began his career with Cornerstones in 1972, then moved to Asante Kotoko three years later, where he was named African Footballer of the Year in 1978, before moving to the United States in 1979.
Razak spent three years with the New York Cosmos in the United States before returning to Kotoko in Ghana for another year. He returned to the UAE for another two years with Al Ain before returning home for another five years.
Razak spent two years with the Ivorian club Africa Sports of Abidjan after spending so much of his career with Kotoko. Tanko played 75 times for Ghana and scored 25 goals for the Black Stars during his career. The 1978 AFCON, where he was named the best player of the tournament, was one of his most memorable moments with the national team.
After retiring from football in 1990, the 65-year-old tried his hand at coaching for a while. He began coaching in 1999 and completed it in 2012.
Gbadamosi, known as ‘Pele,’ began his career at Bimbilla and later moved to Northern Star before joining Hearts in 1963. In 1970, he joined Asante Kotoko before returning to Hearts a year later. He also competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico for Ghana.
Ghanaians who have represented Nigeria
Kingsley Paul was a member of the BCC Lions of Gboko and later represented Nigeria in the 1984 Nations Cup, winning silver under coach Adegboyega Onigbinde.
Paul played against Ghana in the 1984 AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire, which the Eagles won 2-1 thanks to goals from Henry Nwosu and Chibuzor Ehilegbu, with Ghana’s consolation goal coming from Prince Opoku Nti.
Leotis Boateng, a central defender for Nigeria at the 1980 Summer Olympics, was born on March 8, 1951. In 1982, he also played for Nigeria at the AFCON tournament in Libya. He won the FA Cup with Bendel Insurance and spent the 1984/85 season at Leventis United.
Diminutive Between 1984 and 1987, John Benson made his name with Leventis United of Ibadan, where he dominated the right-back position for a few games before Yisa Sofoluwe overtook him.
John was a Ghanaian who played for Nigeria in the 1980 Nations Cup, where he and Captain Christian Chukwu won the title. Orlando also played for the Shooting Stars of Ibadan and Water Cooperation in addition to the Super Eagles.
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