Nigerian born and West Ham star Angelo Ogbonna has revealed that swearing his allegiance to Italy instead of Nigeria had nothing to do with the colour of his skin.
According to reports, Ogbonna’s uncle said that his nephew had considered representing his chosen country, Italy becaus the Nigeria Football Federation are not ready to snap him from Italy.
The West Ham defender was born in Cassino to Nigerian parents who both hail from Owerri West in Imo State.
Ogbonna made his debut for Italy’s senior national team in a friendly fixture against Poland in November 2011, then became cap- tied to Italy when he featured in a World Cup qualifier vs Bulgaria in September 2012.
Sharing his view on racism, Ogbonna told West Ham’s official website : ”I grew up with Nigerian parents, but I chose to play for the Italian national team because I felt that was right.
”Whether you are black, Asian or whatever, you should be proud. I always say, we should be focused on the important things, which are not black or white.
”We are the same people. We all laugh and we all cry. For me, there is no difference”.
The 31-year-old has 13 caps for Italy and represented the country at two major tournaments.
source bsn sport