PROMINENT retired footballers and coaches have reacted to Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr ’s comments on why he kept out the local league players from the national team.
The Franco-German on Sunday insisted footballers in the Nigerian Professional Football League were not good enough for the national team.
When Morgenweb asked Rohr his reasons for snubbing players from the NPFL, he replied, “Because they are not good enough and because I have better ones.
“There are so many good players in Europe. I have invited more than 20 local players since 2016, if they are good, sooner or later they all end up in Europe.”
Former Eagles assistant coach, Sylvanus Okpala, said it was wrong for Rohr to claim there weren’t players good enough for the national team in the NPFL.
“He can invite all the players in Europe into the team, but Rohr cannot tell me that in the NPFL, he has not seen a player good enough for the Eagles, despite his excuse that some of the good ones travel abroad before they are invited to the national team,” Okpala said.
Former Eagles goalkeeper trainer, Ike Shorunmu, added, “When (Clemens) Westerhof, (Stephen) Keshi handled the team, we did not hear such things. Most of us played here, yet, many of us got our chances as home-based players.
“Rohr should simply give NPFL players a chance. He has no reason not to give them a chance. He should search till he gets the best,” Shorunmu said.
Kano Pillars assistant captain, Chris Madaki, said Rohr’s comments were a slight on the home-based players.
“Why should Rohr describe us this way? One of his main players, Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, started his football here. If Musa can be this good today, then, we too can be the best if given the same opportunity,” he said.
Heartland coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu, said, “Rohr is in charge of the team. He has the power to invite any player, but he has to encourage the home-based players. If he does not invite them, how can they be better and improve on their game?”
Also, former Eagles midfielder, Garba Lawal, said it was a slap on Nigeria’s face if Rohr couldn’t find a player good enough for the national team in the NPFL.
“How can he say that in a whole league most players are not good? And they play continental matches, even get as far as the finals? No. The League Management Company should tackle this and ask him what he means with that. This is a slap on our faces as Nigerians, NPFL inclusive,” he said.