Ashleigh Plumptre, a Super Falcons defender, is preparing to play against her birth country in the 2023 World Cup two years after switching her allegiance from England to Nigeria.

The defender, who is Nigerian through her paternal grandfather, played for England’s Under 17, Under 19, and Under 23 before making her debut for Nigeria in 2021.

Plumptre told BBC; “It’s always been assumed that I’m white.” The 25-year-old added that she feels obligated to represent the mixed-race community.

“People have different reasons for wanting to play for a different country. I grew up playing for England, but it was more of a life decision than a football decision.” she said.

I felt I had a responsibility to try to play for Nigeria, if I could. ‘That just came from experiences within my family. I used to coach an Under 12s team with mixed heritage girls and feel I have a responsibility to learn about my heritage.

A lot of people think, “Oh, you’re switching so you can play international football”. It’s not like that at all. I knew exactly what I wanted and that came from understanding who I am.”

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