French youth defender Jerry Vandam has opted to play international football for Ghana rather than France, his country of birth, Ghanasoccernet.com can reveal.
The 21-year-old, who plays for Ligue 1 giants Lille, has snubbed the European country to play for the country of his parents.
The France youth international has decided to commit to the West African country after his affinity for Ghana was nurtured following his recent visits.
Vandam, who is the nephew of ex-Ghana international Alex Nyarko, says he has already met Ghana FA officials to express his desire to play for the country.
“I have already met with Ghana FA officials in Accra. If they call me, I think I’ll respond positively,” said the France youth international.
Playing for Ghana has become attractive after their exploits at the World Cup and youth level prompting many players of Ghanaian decent in Europe opting to play for the African country.
But the right-back has fostered a relationship with Andre and Jordan Ayew which was his first step in opting to play for Ghana.
Vandam said his decision to play for the West Africans is not opportunism as his father who died in 2007 dreamt of his son playing for the Black Stars.
“Playing for Ghana was my childhood dream, but I went there twice when I was little with my late father. Now I go there twice a year, each holiday period,” he said.
“I became friends with the Ayew brothers Andre and Jordan. We get on well and hopefully we will be able to play together for the Black Stars.”
Vandam could be considered for Ghana’s U23 team as he will be eligible to play in that age category if his nationality switch is processed by the Ghana FA.
But he will face tough competition from Samuel Inkoom at the U23 level and in the Black Stars both of them will be vying for John Paintsil’s position.
Fifa’s rules on international eligibility allow a footballer capped at junior level by one country to represent another as long as he possesses dual nationality and has not played at senior level.
Vandam has played eight matches for Lille in the French top flight last season and played seven times in the Champions League.
He has so far played two matches for Lille so far this season. He played in one Ligue 1 game and the other in Europe.
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