Former Sheffield Wednesday loanee denied international debut after FA blunder

Benik Afobe after signing for Sheffield Wednesday in 2014
Benik Afobe after signing for Sheffield Wednesday in 2014
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Benik Afobe has missed out on an international debut for the Democratic Republic of Congo after an embarrassing error by the Football Association.

Afobe, who had a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday in the second half of the 2013/14 season, had been capped by England at youth level but never made a senior appearance so was eligible to make a switch to his parents' country of birth.

Benik Afobe scoring one of two goals for the Owls during his loan spell in 2014

Benik Afobe scoring one of two goals for the Owls during his loan spell in 2014

However, having traveled to make his first appearance for DR Congo against Guinea. the Bournemouth striker was informed that he wasn't registered to play. It transpired that the FA had sent the relevant paperwork to complete the switch to the Republic of Congo, a completely different country.

"Basically, the FA sent my paperwork to the wrong Congo," said Afobe, who scored two goals in 13 appearances for the Owls, on loan from Arsenal.

"Transferring it took about 10 days and once Fifa had cleared their workload with all the internationals on around the world, it was the day after the World Cup qualifier against Guinea."

While Afobe didn't manage to get any game time, despite the long journey from the south coast of England, the 23-year-old said it wasn't completely wasted.

Benik Afobe celebrates scoring for Wednesday against Reading

Benik Afobe celebrates scoring for Wednesday against Reading

"In order for me to get used to the squad and the conditions, it was worth making the trip and the team won 2-1," he added.

"I was disappointed not to play at the time, but the main thing is returning to the club injury-free. Club always comes before country and right now, I want to be available for Bournemouth as much as possible."

Benik Afobe is now at Bournemouth

Benik Afobe is now at Bournemouth