Nigerian midfielder misses out on UK work permit

12 Aug 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Nigerian midfielder, Sunday Mba, has missed out on a UK work permit that would have allowed him to move to Premier League side, Stoke City.

Mba is currently a star player with Enugu Rangers but has reportedly received interest from the English Stoke City team.

Unfortunately, the player has been refused a work permit because he has not played sufficient international matches with the Super Eagles over recent years and so does not meet the minimum qualifications.

Speaking to MTNFootball, the player's representative, Richard Umejei, explained that he played ten out of 20 matches, which falls “far below” the 75 per cent he is required to have played in order to be granted a permit.

Mr Umejei added: “It's a pity Mba can no longer go to Stoke City because of work permit issues … Both the Stoke chief scout, Kevin Cruickshank, and director of football, Mark Cartwright, were keen to invite him before they researched that his international appearances fall short of the minimum required for a work permit.”

Mr Cruickshank told the scout that he had his doubts about the player's chances of qualifying for a work permit: “I’ve been looking into his playing record for Nigeria and I’m not sure he qualifies for a work permit. He has only played 10 of the last 20 competitive games (50 per cent) for his county in the last two years.”

Mba was part of the Nigeria C team that won the 2010 WAFU Nations Cup, but he made his senior debut with the Eagles in a match against Angola in January 2012, before going on to join the Nigerian 23-man squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in which he scored Nigeria's winning 2 – 1 goal in the country's quarter-final victory over Côte d'Ivoire.