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Exclusive: My Fear For Rohr, Super Eagles Ahead 2020 World Cup Qualifiers-Akpoborie

Exclusive: My Fear For Rohr, Super Eagles Ahead 2020 World Cup Qualifiers-Akpoborie

Former Nigerian forward, Jonathan Akpoborie has condemned the decision of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr to have allowed a large number of the Home Based players without a mix of foreign-based players to prosecute the Mexico game.

The friendly game against Mexico was arranged to prepare Rohr’s team for the rescheduled 2022 World Cup qualifying matches in September against Liberia and Cape Verde.

Although, the main foreign-based Super Eagles team led by the German tactician could not execute the game due to the unavailability of the players, however, the home Eagles, led by technical director Austin Eguavoen, took up the challenge and were beaten 4-0 by the North American nation in the friendly played at Los Angeles, USA.

Speaking with Completesports.com, the former Wolfsburg striker stated that the NF has defeated the purpose of the game against Mexico considering the fact that the Super Eagles players may not have the opportunity to assemble together before facing Liberia in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

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Akpoborie, who warned NFF and Rohr of taking the senior national team seriously, urged the football body to be mindful of how they play with the feelings of millions of football-loving Nigerians.

“I was not too impressed with the decision of the Nigeria Football Federation to have prosecuted the international friendly game against Mexico with Home-Based players without some of the notable foreign-based players.

“We really don’t have any excuses to give as per why the Foreign-based players were exempted from the game because from the onset when the friendly was announced, everybody believed the game will be prosecuted by the main team in order to keep them in shape for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

“The truth is, we must take the team seriously if we have to overcome the challenges ahead of us. We played a very good Mexico side without some of our big players and we expect magic during the qualifiers. My point is, the NFF and Rohr should have mixed the team with the Home-based and foreign-based players for the game.”


By Augustine Akhilomen

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  • Sam k 3 years ago

    This guy talks too much is that he doesnt have a job or what

  • Super Eagle won’t find it difficult to top the group in the world cup qualifier. But with this present coach, Super Eagle can’t win any cup. Let both the NFF and the coach continue to deceive themselves. I have already zero my mind. SE had better result with local coach than this present coach.

    Nigeria problem is not how to qualify for competition but to go to the competitions and win the trophy. beating those micky mouse teams in our world cup qualify group is not a sign that we have a good team.

    NFF has to wake up. Nigeria is loaded with talented players, we only need a coach that know how to make a very good use of them.

    If you give good ingredients to someone that is not good, he would still prepare bad soup.

    • onwajunior 3 years ago

      Local coaches again? The same coaches that had problems qualifying us for Afcon back to back. Now Rohr has made us forget that qualifying for competitions used to be a problem. Remember we qualified for the last World Cup with a game or so to spare from a group that had Algeria (the current champion) and Cameroon (the then incumbent champion). I’d say the problem of Nigerian football is the administration. Let them do their jobs and stop interfering in the coaches’jobs.

      • NaijaEaglesFan 3 years ago

        @onwajunior don’t mind them. A lot of our people have short memories and undiagnosed dementia.

      • A local coach qualified Nigeria for the World cup twice and was denied the opportunity to go to the World cup on both occasions because he could only win bronze at the Afcon which took place prior to the World cup not once but twice. We all remember the late Stephen Keshi who won Afcon with a super eagles team that was a mixture of both foreign based professionals and homebased players then did not only qualified the team for the World cup but also got to the second round. In 1984 a Nigerian coach took a bunch of young boys who had just graduated into the Eagles after the likes of chief Odegbami and many of his team mates retired and they went all the way to the finals. So my broda stop insulting our own GR is not the type of coach we should be rating more than all our coaches because he does not have it. He has spent five years with our team yet the Eagles do not have a playing pattern, there is no tactical formation either to attack or defend. Presently, we are blessed with some of the best Talents in Africa yet GR have failed to impact the team in any way. I remember Samson Siasia was sacked because Guinea came to Nigeria to play a one all draw against us but under GR South Africa defeated Nigeria for the very first time and just recently a lowly S/Leone team came to Nigeria to equalize a 4-0 lead by the Eagles under GR watch all because na oyibo

    • NaijaEaglesFan 3 years ago

      @Godsate local coaches better results. Remember when Eagles were called “Super Chicken”, was the coach local or foreign? We all know the answer to that.

      Local coaches,:- All the NPFL teams.

      Local coaches, :- Caf champions League. Nigerian team always perform horribly.

      Caf Confederation Cup,:- Nigerian teams perform poorly.

      Local coaches, :- CHAN. From inaugural tournament till date Nigeria has not won the tournament. Remember Nigeria did not qualify for the first three outings.

      Local coaches, ;- WAFU. Nigeria was beaten 4 to 0 by Ghana on the final match.

      Local coaches, :- Olympic. Nigeria did not qualify.

      Local coaches, :- U20 tournament. Nigeria did not qualify.

      Local coaches, :- U17 tournament. Nigeria did not qualify.

      • Eagles were called super Chicken under a German coach called Vogts , it was the Ghanians that started it just because we had taken a 1-0 lead against them in Accra and one of their defenders was given a red card but they were able to rally their team to win the match 2-1 If the Ghanians chose to insults us we should desist from using it to rob ourselves just because we want to defend or praise one white man who does not care about us. As for our under 17 and 20 teams our record speaks for itself , we have won the u17 cups multiple times and gotten to the finals of U20 twice , won bronge once , Siasia won silver and bronge at the Olympics. For any team to do well in whether the qualifiers or the competition proper we have to prepare the very well you don’t camp players for 4 weeks and expect them to perform miracles. We have not been qualifying for these competitions recently because of poor preparation. That does not mean our coaches don’t need training and retraining , they do . Even the NFF Chairman offered to send GR for refresher course after the last Afcon.

  • pompei 3 years ago

    Even if the main squad was not available, I thought this was a great opportunity to invite other prospects. Guys like Cyriel Dessers, Sadiq Umar, Simy Nwankwo, Calvin Bassey, Tolu Arokodare, Obinna Nwobodo, Frank Onyeka, Akinkunmi Amoo, Samson Tijani, Kelechi Nwakali, and so on. Abraham Marcus would have loved to play this game. Invite them, and if they give excuses for not being available, that is on them. Most if not all of them will abandon their holiday plans and show up, given the magnitude of the game. Camp these guys with the HB, and select a match day squad from there. This is what I expected. By now, out of all these players, we would have had a better idea of who is who. But we remain in square one now, thanks to our darling NO FUTURE FOCUS!

    • Chima E Samuels 3 years ago

      Pompei you’re very right and this lost opportunity might be costly on the long run.

    • Ozornwelibe 3 years ago

      Spot on Pompei! A very big opportunity lost.
      We would have being able to see most of our fringe players in a big match situation bt for short-sightedness nd lack of serious planning of our nff nd ROHR cost us once again. Imagine Nwobodo, Ejuke Chiderah, Nwakali and even Sabastien Osigwe of Lugano Fc and Theophilus Solomon + all d other good players u had mentioned earlier playing together with a few home based lads(the very best of them).
      Pls, Rohr must get serious nd start infusing our best players in the Super Eagles.
      I believe we have super talents who may not have found it so easy to break into the major leagues of this world. We should start thinking of these special talents that can always influence their teams at all odds. Boys with talents or techniques akin to the Neymars and Messis, whose innate talents would always influence their teams. People should watch the recently concluded Copa America to see how the superflux talents of a few players, tactical ingenuity and proper management of serious coaches worked together in achieving good results.

  • Hassan Tia 3 years ago

    Rhor would like to prove to public view and NFF that home base players are shaky,weak,havn’t any experience to represent Super Eagles, becuse he has been critisized that he doesn’t recall them in SE,so this defeat from Mexico.4-0 is a big proof that.home base players are shaky and weak…

  • JimmyBall 3 years ago

    when was the last time we used an all-homebased squad to play a high profile friendly? Rohr distancing himself from the game against mexico at the get-go shows he feared from beginning… he is coach of NIgeria not foreignbased players… he had enough time to have sought the consent of a handful of some very good but fringe foreign based players and add a good number of homebased to present a more competitive squad against Mexico… the players who refused to honour the invite were all back in Nigeria taking pictures with Yahaya Bello in Abuja… it was deliberate to create a situation for all homebased players to be damned…

    • Oakfield 3 years ago

      How would u feel if u were a coach of a team, after sounding a serious alarm long before a particular match that most the players needed would not be available. Probably hoping for a cancelation to avoid disgrace but had some nff and sports ministry scribes walk up to u and tell u that the match won’t be canceled but will be executed by players from the domestic league which just a week left? Would you feel confident to handle a team that was not built by you and assembled under a week????? Come’on mehn, we need to be objective mostimes whilst our hate or dislike of certain persons. U shouldn’t reason like this. Rohr did want any gentleman would do in that situation except u don’t have integrity.

    • Naijaking 3 years ago

      @JimmyBall what an unreasonable way of thinking.

    • pompei 3 years ago

      jimbo my good man, Rohr was not afraid. How can a man that beat Argentina 4-2 and played 1-1 with Brazil be afraid of Mexico?
      Think am guy. Rohr saw thru the corrupt intentions of NFF, and distanced himself from their shenanigans. It was his desire to maintain a peaceful working environment that made him reconsider.
      If you own a civil engineering firm, and you are contracted to build a bridge over Lagos Lagoon by the govt, then they insist that they will procure the materials and hire the staff you need to build the bridge. Something that ordinarily is your responsibility. You accepted, to keep the peace. You later interviewed the staff they hired, dem no know shishi. No experience, nothing. You examine the materials they provided – substandard, obsolete, even hazardous. You know that if you build that bridge, na collapse e go collapse into the lagoon, leading to avoidable loss of life. Jimbo, will you accept that contract? How can you expect Rohr to guide a team he did not select, and play a game he is not prepared for, knowing fully well that if he loses or the team underperforms, his hard earned reputation is on the line?

      • JimmyBall 3 years ago

        Afraid of having anything to do with Homebased especially considering Mexico as the opponent…

    • Michael Adelami 3 years ago

      You guys clamour for home based players and you were given the opportunity to see a full homebase team first hand, the next thing is that you are crying foul.
      1. When has anyone clamour for the home based players to help the foreign ones out?
      2. If we actually have talented home players as to people always believe in your delusion, why can’t they stand on their own without the help of the foreign players?
      3. The truth is if we had mixed them with some foreign players e.g 6 foreign pros and 5 home based and the game ended draw, you would all have said the reason for having a draw is that the foreign players were not good enough that if they were as good as the locals, we would have won the game and as such, Nigeria must play an all local based on our next international friendly.
      You people should stop this rubbish. I graduated from Lviv National Medical University Ukraine and the only thing on my mind is to come to Nigeria and help my own people when others were writing exams to go to the UK. All my efforts to stay in Nigeria has been frustrated after striving to pass exams and begin residency (I am currently a resident doctor in orthopaedics at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital in Ondo), but the only thing I am thinking of is to write an exam to allow me work in any other European countries.
      Our problem is our system not Rhor, e.g the last salary I received is that of February. This happens in every facets of the country. Why are the resident doctors always on strike, why are they always writing PLAB, USLME, AMCE and other exams to migrate to UK, US and the likes.
      Our best brains are out the country in all aspects, refuse to believe it at your own peril.
      And you people should know that national team is not where you grow your potential, rather, it is where the mature (grown potential) show off.

      • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

        My brother, if homebased are good enough why are their promoters always crying for them to be supported with foreign based….LMAOOoo. And even if 4 or 5 foreign based where included in that team, I can bet with my life that its the 4 or 5 foreign based in the team that will prove themselves and hug the headlines after the game. The game we played vs Atletico Madrid a few years ago, was it not the Nwakali brothers and Usman Mohammed (foreign based) that ended up stealing the show from all the homebased in that squad…? How many of the homebased gave any commendable performance in that match. Look at our falcons recently concluded USA tour, was it not the foreign based ones like Oluehi, Alozie, the Payne sisters and the girl from Switzerland who stood out…? How many of the homebased about 12 of them or thereabout delivered any eye catching performances that can catch the eye of any scouts in the stands throughout the tour…?

        We want hombased….we want homebased…ngwa see homebased na, all of them are now crying up and down, insulting and blaming Rohr for what he had no hand in…..LMAOoo. They have Many Talents in the league, yet the Many Talents didnt have as basic as sense of positioning on the pitch of play against a largely home-based mexican team….LMAOooo….3 of the 4 goals we conceeded were as a result of all the players chasing the same ball to one side of the pitch and leaving free men on the other side….LMAOOOoo…..anywhere belle face Talents…LMAOooo.

        The entire defense of Mexico for that match plus goalkeeper was homebased, yet we had zero shots at goal in 90 mins……LMAOOOo. MANY TALENTS indeed.

    • Michael Adelami 3 years ago

      Tell me how you can produce world class from the video someone posted the last time showing musa training with the players of one of the biggest clubs in Nigeria (Kano Pillars).
      Our biggest problem is our corrupt system.

    • Michael Adelami 3 years ago


      Watch the link above. In fact shame on us as a football nation.

      • Oakfield 3 years ago

        Shame!!!!!! Shame!!!! God why did u make me a nigerian??? Why???? What The f…. Ck…. Cam u just imagine the kinda pitch they are using for training. Mr dare, this where we need ur useless queens english… Shameless idiots. Thunder fire all of una there.. Useless people!

        • KangA 3 years ago

          Very odd feeling, but true. I couldn’t watch the clip to the end. It was as if I were being choked and suffocated by a thick blanket of dust. Call this strange phenomenon, a sort of vicarious trauma that penetrates through time and space. And we’re subjecting our boys to this dusty environment, depositing thick sludge of mud in their lungs, cutting off oxygen? In developed climes, these boys would head for the rooms of their family doctors and lawyers and emerge with papers seeking huge compensations.

          But this Dare of a man, instead of standing up for our soccer and fixing the decadent system, is busy issuing empty threats to Rohr, foaming in his mouth that H-B players are the panacea to Nigerian soccer.

          This is a rude joke.

          • Oakfield 3 years ago

            KangA, the feeling is inexplicablly excruciating!!! What?????!!! How can we with all our money and resources ( both human and material) be dwelling in this kind of babaric, hopeless and hellish state?? . It baffles me greatly, honestly. We have what it take to be the best in the world but a miserable chunk of satanic idiots have taken us down the drain bcs of their selfish interests. Abroad where the system works well, nigerians are doing well in every field of endeavour which goes to show that with the right system on ground, we can attain greater heights and be the best. It’s common sense. That’s why it took rohr just a short while to get us back to reckoning after we desteoyed what we had by our own selves due to corruption, nepotism, tribalism and mediocrity. He just came in and properly harnessed the great resources we had to achieve success. This is what i expected mr minister to do instead of speaking nonsense queens english but he has failed woefully. How much will it cost to get good training grounds for teams? How much??? Mr Dare should be ashamed of himself. He’s a very big disaster. In fact, the next time he’d open his dirty mouth to talk nonsense about a man who has cleaned tears from the eyes of many football lovers, thunder will strike him.

  • NaijaEaglesFan 3 years ago

    Sports minister/ ministry officials, NFF officials and Local coaches are the reason Nigeria can’t move forward.

    Reading the comments of some of our people on this platform, one can’t help but wonder the rational behind how our people reason.

    How can any reasonable individual shamelessly state that local coaches that derailed Nigeria’s progress, gave a lot of Nigerians high blood pressure with their lack of understanding of the basic aspects of the job, made Lagos fans tag/rename Super Eagles to “super chicken” because of their inability to do the job which led to the team not qualifying for 2015 and 2017 Nations Cup are now better that the present coach.

    One said that Nigeria’s problem is not to qualify for a tournament but to win a tournament they participate in without realizing that those best Nigerian coaches have not in any way proved to anyone that they understand the game. We have twenty of them in the NPFL that produced the players who played against Mexico but couldn’t take a single short on goal during a ninety minutes match, that is definitely a sign that there is nothing there. Let’s not forget that the same local coaches are still not able to qualify us for Olympic game, win WAFU and CHAN. You first have to be in a tournament to win it right?

    If you don’t qualify for a tournament, how good are you or what chances do you have to win it?

    Nigerian coaches are not ready for the big show and I doubt if they  ever will be. After watching the horribly poor football played in the NPFL season after season and the sorry way the teams play when in continental games, one wonders why the NFF,  NPFL  and the coaches think those players are good enough to represent Nigeria but don’t realize that something need to be done differently, also that charges desperately need to be implemented for  better outcome.

    Sentiment is not going to get us anywhere, you can hate the coach all you want but he’s getting the job done by assembling the best football players Nigeria has to offer which  our indigenous coaches are incapable of.

    Unlike  Rhor,  Nigerian coaches will destroy the Eagles by paying more attention to quota system rather than merit and will succumb to senseless pressure /threats from Dare and co by flooding the team with mediocre NPFL players to please the stupid Sports minister and his co-conspirators just to keep his job.

    • Oakfield 3 years ago

      Very apt, concise and reasonable. U look new here, u welcome. My brother, this is what we have been facing and saying from time imemomorial on this forum. It doesn’t take a wise person to see the handwriting on the wall. We have a very siszable bunch of very unreasonable persons here who bcs of the hate they have for someone or sheer stupidity write very absurd and unreasonable things that would make u wonder. I bet u, if our super eagles was being handled by one of our domestic coaches, we would have totally forgotten playing at next year’s nations cup let alone winning it. We would have been scrambling for crumbs with countries like Tanzania, Kenya, Mauritius et al but thank God this man came around and turned things around to the extent that some people now have the mouth to say that qualifying for tournies is no longer a problem. The same thing that was a huge problem for us when we were being coached the so called domestic coaches. Can I ask him who made qualifying for tournies look ordinary??

      • pompei 3 years ago

        Honestly, if Rohr had not taken over, Tanzania, Kenya and Mauritius for better pass us. With corrupt, inept local coaches, we would have missed world cup 2018. No way a local coach would have guided us out of a group containing Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia. Even Afcon 2019, na for television we for watch am. Not because we don’t have the talents, but corruption and incompetence, quota system, and “oga at the top” interference would have stopped us. Rohr came and did things the right way, hence we qualified. Only a hater will fail to see this!

        • Oakfield 3 years ago

          I am telling u @ pompei. It baffles how some persons reason. Make them exercise a little patience until rohr’s term is over, just in a short while then they can bring their domestic coaches who would drag us down the drain within a twinkle of an eye. When the chips are down, u go now see some of them praising him to the highest heavens just like they now do to Keshi now whom they calld all sorts of names like “gather and play” coach on the defunct KON. Na we dy here. We go all be here when it would start happening.

    • pompei 3 years ago

      Abeg help us tell them, make them hear!

  • Sammy 3 years ago

    Nigerians are not honest people. Rohr don sabi una, that’s why the guy sharply remove hand from that Mexico friendly from the get go. He’s a sensible man, and can see shit coming from a mile off.

    See the insults the man is getting for a friendly he warned the NFF against, and from which he washed his hands from the very beginning; imagine what these arm chair critics would have said if he had coached a hastily assembled side to a predictable defeat.

    Una dey fear to criticise LMC,NFF and sports ministry? The major culprits for the sorry state of our domestic football? Na Rohr name dey sweet una for mouth. Una usual scapegoat abi?

    People should please go and look for work and leave this old man alone abeg!!!

  • Larry 3 years ago

    The picture in this report shows the two players who really impressed and held their own against Mexico. The goal keeper is the other star of the HB/SE.
    Moving forward Nwabali should be considered ahead of any HB goalkeeper for camp.
    The #4: Shimaga & #20- Olusesi should be given a look for the next SE match (Liberia/cape verde).
    Enough of the negative comments about a team that was rushly assembled to face World #11. The blame should go to the nff.
    Nwabali, Shimaga and Olusesi: These three players really impressed in that match.

    • I don’t think we have a problem with our RB, GK, and DM options.
      We are covered in that aspect. If you have a quality number 10 with a winning mentality, bring him on.
      Super Eagles WC qualifiers is not a ground for checking out players. They should prepare for their chan qualifiers and hope they get it right this time.

  • The only reason why those useless homebase were gather is because of the marketing strategy that NFF and hungry mouth set of coaches wants to adopt in selling players.

    Black man all over the world are the same anywhere. The same way Haiti ppl mothered their president is the same way NFF, dare, and all those ppl clamouring for local players will assersinate super eagle.

    National team of any country is the pride of that country.

    The glory of any nation.
    It is not suppose to be a selling point for awori players.
    Players don’t get invitation into national team just to get noticed by buyer.

    A national team player suppose to be the best that the country can produce at any given time.

    We know those ppl behind this show of shame, they will not stop at mexico game alone but further waste tax payer resources on the course that will fail eventually.

    They will even force rohr to try and start world cup qualification with those awori players and when the going get tough, they will start looking for messehaih that will turn the situation around.

    Dare had been brain washed, one can see from His recent comment about national team coach and also advising home base not to join mushroom club.

    This can only happen in Nigeria democracy. We don’t use to see things like during the reign of military.

    • pompei 3 years ago

      Good points. National team is not Alaba market. We need only the best.

  • Chibuike 3 years ago

    Nigeria should be very careful with Rohr because if this man leave, no world class coach will tolerate this corrupt Nff. We don’t have good local coach’s again in 9ja. For me, rohr is my best now because of his endurance and patience.

  • These Ex Footballers will never eat a dose of humble pie in their lives abi??.. Is is not them who have been clamoring fort Home based players saying Rohr is neglecting the Home grown talent forgetting that the best legs leave Nigeria after 1 or 2 seasons.. thats if they don’t leave from the Academies. Any way Akpoborie and Co always sayin things like “in or days we prosecuted games with Home based players” Now their plans has back fired and they will still not own p to their destructive inputs.

  • Jossylove 3 years ago

    Naija ppl get wahala ooo… Una dey shout Rohr play home base ! Play home base .. now they played and dey lost everybody is complaining. If those boys av beaten Mexico now .. d story will change.Naija ppl can’t be impressed Sha..

  • @Jossylove, hope ur weekends is going well. We don’t oppose usage of home base if the player is the best for that position. But the idea of prosecuting grade a friendly with home base and the motive behind this arrangement is what we are talking about.

    Those players that plaid against mexico are not the best of the best home base players not to talk of displacing foreign players who play in well organized and well coordianted league.

    Nigeria football league is not what it use to be when we have home base that can displace forien players.

    Abiodun baruwa nearly displace somany forieng goal keeper to the extent that he mann the goal post when africa best 22 players plaid against europe best 22players in which African team won by 2-1. Baruwa was still an homebase.

    What we have now as home base is not what we can rely on for any major tournament.

    The agents of those home base players that plaid against mexico are the one behind that arrangement hence our agitation.

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