Euro 2024 Qualifiers and Friendly Against Germany
Tobias Lawal, the talented goalkeeper contracted to LASK, has received a call-up from the Austrian national team for their crucial 2024 Euro qualifiers against Estonia and a friendly game against Germany. This marks the end of the Nigeria Football Federation’s efforts to secure Lawal’s commitment to the Super Eagles.
Background and Previous Invitation
Born in Linz, Austria, to Nigerian and Austrian parents, Lawal had been extended an invitation by former Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr in 2020.
However, a passport issue prevented his participation in the Nigerian team. He had previously represented Austria at the junior level and made his debut for the Austria Under-21 team on June 8, 2021, against Estonia.
Debut Call-Up for the Senior Team
Austrian head coach Ralf Rangnick expressed confidence in Lawal’s abilities, emphasizing his impressive performances at LASK in both league and Europa League competitions.
This debut call-up for the senior team puts an end to Nigeria’s aspirations of including Lawal in the Super Eagles squad.
Prospects in Upcoming Matches
If Lawal doesn’t feature in the game against Estonia on November 16, there is a possibility of his inclusion in the friendly match against Germany in Vienna five days later.
Rangnick sees Lawal as a goalkeeper with great potential and aims to provide him with the opportunity to showcase his skills on the international stage.
Impact on Super Eagles’ Goalkeeping Dilemma
Lawal was considered a potential solution to the well-documented goalkeeping challenges faced by the Super Eagles.
With notable performances for LASK this season, starting in 20 games and keeping seven clean sheets, his absence due to nationality restrictions poses a setback for Nigeria.
Dual Passport Restriction
The fact that Lawal is not permitted to possess both a Nigerian and an Austrian passport adds a finality to Nigeria’s hope of securing him for the Super Eagles.
Once established in the Austrian team, Lawal will join David Alaba as the second player of Nigerian descent in the national squad.