English Premier League side Stoke City’s quest for Sunday Mba, Nigeria’s AFCON hero, has been hampered by his not making up to the required 75 percent international appearances for him to be granted a work permit in the club.
Netherlands-based agent Richard Umejei, who told MTNFootball.com that “It’s a pity Mba can no longer go to Stoke City because of work permit issues,” said the deal was stalled because in the last two years, the player has only played 10 of the 20 internationals involving Nigeria as required before his work permit would be given.
Umejei said: “He played 10 matches out of 20 matches, which is far below the 75 per cent required for him to be granted a work permit. Had he played another five matches, he would have been good to go.
“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.
Cruickshank told Umejei, “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.”
It was reported that the matches Mba missed included 2013 AFCON group matches against Zambia and Burkina Faso, qualifiers against Liberia both home and the game against Rwanda in Calabar.