Arsenal Winning Goal Scorer Can Play For Zimbabwe Warriors
Reiss Nelson, the 23-year-old Arsenal winger, who has been making headlines following his impressive performance on Saturday, is eligible to play for Zimbabwe. Nelson came off the bench to score a last-minute winner, securing a thrilling 3-2 win against Bournemouth in the English Premier League.
Although Nelson was born in London and currently classified as British, he is eligible to play for Zimbabwe through his father, who is Zimbabwean. While he has represented England at junior level, he has not played for the Three Lions at senior level, which means he can still be persuaded to represent Zimbabwe in the future.
Zimbabwe international Tendayi Darikwa, who switched allegiance from England to Zimbabwe in 2017, spoke highly of Nelson in a recent interview. Darikwa described Nelson as a “capable” and “talented” player who would be welcomed with open arms in the Warriors setup.
“I think it’s a personal decision that someone has to make to switch allegiances or go and represent a certain country,” Darikwa, who is at English Championship side Wigan told On The Whistle in November 2020.
“We all know how capable Reiss is and talented he is as a footballer, and he can only improve our team and our country.
“We welcome Reiss to come and play for the Warriors. We’d love him to come but he needs to make the decision himself without getting pressure from people outside.
“He’s played for England at youth level, if he wants to carry on playing for England, that’s fine but if he wants to play for Zimbabwe, we’ll welcome him together.”
However, the Zimbabwe football authorities would face a challenging task convincing Nelson to consider playing for the Warriors, as the country is currently suspended from international football by FIFA due to government interference in the affairs of the country’s football federation, ZIFA. The suspension means that no Zimbabwean football team can participate in international football, while FIFA has also withheld all funding to the country.