Super Eagles could shun London after visa hassle – Gernot Rohr

Nigeria could avoid playing friendlies in London from now on because of problems obtaining visas for staff and players, coach Gernot Rohr has said.

The Super Eagles played Senegal at non-league Barnet’s ground in north London last Friday, drawing 1-1, but a second scheduled match against Burkina Faso on Monday had to be called off.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said seven Burkinabe players failed to secure British entry visas.

The German coach said he will now suggest that friendlies and training camps be arranged on mainland Europe to avoid further difficulties as it was “too complicated to get visas” in Britain.

“I think it’s better to stay in Schengen, in Europe, than go to London where the people have problems. Even some players in our team couldn’t come, you know. They didn’t get the visa in time.”

Britain is not part of the Schengen zone, where there are no border controls between signatory countries and where international travellers require only a single visa for travel.

Currently, 26 European countries are part of the area.

Rohr told reporters in London on Monday night that Nigeria tried to find a last-minute replacement when it became clear the match would not go ahead against Burkina Faso.

Officials from Burkina Faso were reportedly told the application would be completed in Morocco, where the team was playing on Friday, as there was no British mission in Ouagadougou.

But the applications were still pending when the mission closed for the weekend.

Rohr, who has previously managed national sides Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso, has worked mainly with players based in mainland Europe since he took charge of Nigeria last year.

The former Bordeaux player and coach, who has also managed several European domestic sides, including Ajaccio, has said it costs less to do so and the facilities are better than in Nigeria.

Nigeria plan to set up a training camp in France in May and play a friendly against Corsica as part of preparations for a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa in June.

 

Source: AFP

Rohr denies setting standards for China-based players.

Super Eagles’ Coach, Gernot Rohr, has denied reports that he has set a standard every Nigerian player in the Chinese League must meet before being invited to the senior national team.

Super Eagles’ captain, John Obi Mikel, Odion Ighalo and Brown Ideye are among Rohr’s first team members plying their trade in China. There are also reports that midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi is on the verge of joining the China train.

Denying a story that says he has put a lid on the number of players from the Chinese League he will invite to the national team, Rohr said in tweets in the NGSuperEagles handle, “my attention has been drawn to a story quoting me as setting a limit on number of players to be invited from the Chinese League. I do not know where this statement credited to me came from. I have had a very good and cordial relationship with the media.

“I therefore implore our media friends to be more professional in this regard so we can together get Nigeria football to the top.”

Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, also reiterated the coach’s desire to have the best available Nigerian players in his team in the build up to the African Nations Cup qualifier against South Africa in June and the back-to-back Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Cameroun.

Ibitoye revealed that the Eagles boss would release the list of players for the friendly games against Senegal and Burkina Faso two weeks before the matches, adding that the coach is keeping close tabs on the players.

 

Source: The Guardian

NFF, Gernot Rohr Seal Two-year Contract

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Mr. Gernot Rohr have signed a two-year contract that will see the former Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso coach work as Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles.

The simple ceremony at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja saw NFF President Amaju Pinnick and General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi signing on behalf of the Nigeria federation, in-between Mr. Rohr’s own signature.

Pinnick said that the agreement was for two years, with the former German defender, who also coached top French club Girondins Bordeaux and elite Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel, handed a target of qualifying the Super Eagles for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.

“We are happy that this has been sealed and we can now focus on other arrangements for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers starting in October,” said Pinnick.

Rohr, clad in a simple shirt and jean trouser and wearing a smile, said: “I am enthusiastic to get to work. This is a big challenge because Nigeria has big players everywhere and has the ability to do well internationally.

“I have a German heart – the heart of a winner. I have confidence that with the right atmosphere and the right support, the Super Eagles have the capacity not only to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, but get to the latter stages of the competition.”

Read More: Thisday