‘Eagles’ qualifiers keeping Rohr away from NPFL venues’

Gernot Rohr

Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye has explained that the Coach Gernot Rohr has not been in the country to watch matches at the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) venues because he is preparing for the forthcoming World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

Nigeria currently tops Group B of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying series with six points earned from victories over Zambia and Algeria. Super Eagles’ next games would be two crucial home and away matches against the AFCON champions, Cameroun on August 31 and first week of September.

Speaking on a live programme yesterday, Ibitoye said the time for the home-based players to be looked into would come soon during the CHAN qualifiers, as some players of the NPFL have already been penciled down for the programme.

“We should understand that Coach Gernot Rohr’s assignment is not limited to the country. His immediate assignment now is to qualify for the World Cup, which is key. And most of the players he is going to use are outside the country.

“Apart from the fact that the season in Europe is on, most of these players are getting ready for the pre-season and it is very key to meet them. A number of our players have not come to play for us yet and Rohr has to speak to them in Europe.

“These players are committed, they always want to give everything and let us just pray that they will be injury free; then we will see them all against Cameroun. They will have a chance to prove to everybody that they love to play in the green and white shirt for the nation,” he said.

Ibitoye, who added that the opportunity for the home-based players would come during the CHAN qualifiers, said Rohr would help Coach Salisu Yusuf to put up a good team.“We need to qualify for the World Cup first; then the Nations Cup and the CHAN qualifiers will be a very big opportunity for some of these players as Rohr will be around to assist.

“Already, he is in talks with Salisu, they have been discussing about the players together. Rohr already has been working with a good number of the players. The CHAN is not for Rohr to take charge, but will serve as a backbone to Coach Salisu,” he stated.

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