African players abroad Chiedozie Ogbene Delighted Being First African-Born To Debut For Republic Of Ireland

Rotherham United winger Chiedozie Ogbene has expressed his happiness at being the first African-born player to debut for the Republic of Ireland national team.

Ogbene entered into the history books when he came off the bench to replace Jason Knight in the 89th minute as Ireland were held to a goalless draw by Hungary in an international friendly on Tuesday, June 8.

Born in Lagos twenty-four years ago, he qualified to represent Ireland as he had lived in the country for more than three years having moved to the European nation at the age of eight.

Ogbene received a maiden call-up from the Football Association of Ireland nine months after he approached manager Stephen Kenny to declare his wish to play for the Boys in Green.

It’s truly a blessing. Most importantly, being from the League of Ireland. And coming from that tough structure of football, just to showcase if you believe and never give up, what can happen.” Ogbene said after his debut.” He added.

Cap-tied duo Norwich City striker Adam Idah and Manchester City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu were the other players of Nigerian descent in action against Hungary, while teenage central defender Andrew Omobamidele watched proceedings from the bench.

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