2021 AFCON Countdown: Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, rules out automatic shirts

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Gernot Rohr

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has ruled out automatic shirts for players switching their allegiance to Nigeria, saying he already has good players in place to prosecute upcoming next month’s AFCON qualifiers against the Benin Republic and Lesotho.

The German who returned to Nigeria over the weekend said he was happy with the fitness of players in their various clubs ahead of the AFCON qualifiers in March.

“We have a scouting team with my assistants and we see the games at weekend s; I am happy that the majority of the players are very fit because it is not easy to play in wintertime in Europe with a lot of matches within a short time,” Rohr said in an interview monitored by NationSports.

He added: “Some of them are very fit and we have some new players in Germany, France, Austria, and the Czech Republic. I always have meetings with my technical team every Monday to assess what they monitored at the weekend.”

Speaking specifically on new players bidding to switch their allegiance for Nigeria other than their countries of birth, the former Bayern Munich defender said everything would be done under due process.

“It is good to scout for them and also speak with them if they want to switch,” noted the 67-year-old coach. “Also such players have to write letters to FIFA; we have some players in view and for me.

“But this is not the best time to bring in new players; I hope we can find better players because we already have good players. No time before the next two matches.”

The former Bordeaux coach said he was happy that injured players like Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze would soon be back to fitness, even as he reckoned that Al-Shabab’s newly-signed Odion Ighalo as exclusively reported on Monday by NationSports, has a chance to return to the Super Eagles.

He said: “I am very happy with his new contract in Saudi Arabia despite his age because he has to start thinking about the future. I hope he is a regular in the club and if he is doing well he has a chance to play with the Super Eagles. But does he want to come back? That is the question. He will be helpful for the young players but firstly he has to play regularly in his new club.”

Meanwhile, Rohr has revealed that the team’s last AFCON qualifier against Lesotho may be played at the refurbished National Stadium in Lagos on March 30.

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