Nigeria’s squad (back L-R) defender Kenneth Omeruo, defender Elderson Uwa Echiejile, goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, defender Leon Balogun, defender William Troost-Ekong, midfielder John Obi Mikel, (L-R) midfielder Victor Moses, midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, forward Oghenekaro Etebo, forward Alex Iwobi and forward Kelechi Iheanacho pose for a group picture ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup African zone group B qualifying football match between Nigeria and Algeria at the Akwa Ibom State Stadium in Uyo on November 12, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
• Nigeria knows CHAN 2018 qualifiers’ opponents this month
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has denied reports that it intends to move all the Super Eagles’ remaining qualifiers from Uyo to Port Harcourt. Last week the media feasted on a report by a local website that the NFF was worried by the ‘spate of bad results’ the national team has had at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo and therefore had decided to move all future Super Eagles’ games, including the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cameroon, from the stadium to the Adokie Aimiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt.
NFF Secretary General, Sanusi Mohammed told The Guardian at the weekend that there was no iota of truth in the story, saying, “we did not tell anybody that the Eagles’ World Cup qualifier against Cameroon and other matches have been moved from Uyo. The NFF will come out with an official statement if such decision is reached.
“As at this point, all we are focusing on is the must win game against Cameroon and nothing will stop the federation from giving the team all the assistance to qualify for the competition,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NFF has also revealed that Super Eagles’ Coach, Gernot Rohr, will not be involved in the forthcoming 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers billed to begin across Africa in August.
The tournament, which is designed for only players playing in their various domestic leagues, will be hosted by Kenya from January 11 to February 2, 2018. Super Eagles’ Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye revealed that the team’s Assistant Coach, Salisu Yusuf has been given the nod to lead the CHAN team in the qualifiers to enable Rohr focus on the World Cup qualifier against Cameroon.
He added that the CHAN team list would soon be released by coach Yusuf, saying the NFF has promised to give the CHAN qualifiers adequate attention, as it would help the country discover more talents from the domestic league.
He revealed that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) would unveil the Eagles’ opponents for the CHAN qualifiers before the end of the month.
“Rohr is currently out of the country as he plots ways for Nigeria to beat Cameroun. He would be monitoring the Indomitable Lions at the Confederation Cup in Russia. But not being involved in the CHAN qualifiers does not mean he is being sidelined from the team. His assistants are on ground to help him in his job. They also know the domestic players better than him,” he said.