Gernot Rohr’s decision on player selection has been apt, including leaving out Captain John Obi Mikel again, according to ex-Nigeria international Victor Ikpeba.
Last Monday, Rohr named a 23-man squad for the African Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa and Uganda friendly and the Tianjin Teda midfielder was a notable omission.
Mikel has yet to return to international duty ever since captaining the country at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
While prior omissions had uncertainty about the former Chelsea player’s fitness, this, however, seems way off as the 31-year-old was on parade for his club Tianjin Teda last Sunday, scoring one of their goals in another loss.
However, Ikpeba does not see it as an issue, trusting Rohr with his judgements.
“Mikel is not a must in Eagles. I understand the coach,” Ikpeba said on Monday
“Mikel has been a fantastic player for the national team for more than a decade. And I understand that the skipper and the coach have a great relationship but we don’t know why he was not invited.
“But this is great for the team and great for the young set of players that they can do without Mikel and without Victor Moses. The team has been brilliant without them and the coach has been apt with the decision,”
New faces in the list include Villarreal, starlet Samuel Chukwueze, while FC IfeanyiUbah’s defender Olamilekan Adeleye will stand a chance for his competitive debut. Mikel Agu returns to the fold after missing out on a World Cup spot, with young striker Victor Osimhen also handed a call-up.
On the standby list, Henry Onyekuru and Chidozie Awaziem are joined by three home-based professionals.
On November 17, the Group E leaders take on South Africa at the FNB Stadium and three days later, they play Uganda in a friendly billed for the Stephen Keshi Stadium.
Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino last Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.
Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the MoshoodAbiola National Stadium.
The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.
He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.
“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.
“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (MoshoodAbiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.
“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.
“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.
Tidesports source reports that the FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.
Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses – Aikhomogbe
Former Nigerian goal keeper, Andrew Aikhomogbe has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to resolve every outstanding salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr before the next World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Aikhomogbe made this known on the backdrop of the football body’s recent deal with Baba Ijebu.
Although the financial details of the deal was not disclosed, Aikhomogbe in an interview with Newsmen from his base in Cairo, Egypt, stated that the NFF should use this platform to offset Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“It’s a big delight to know that the Nigeria Football Federation have signed a deal with Baba Ijebu and this will serve as an opportunity for them to use part of the money to pay Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“There is no better time to motivate him than now before Nigeria’s next 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic (CAR) on October,” he said.
Enyimba Players Vow To Support Finidi
Enyimba FC Goalkeeper, John Noble has stated that the players of the People’s Elephants will be key to the success of the newly appointed coach of the team, Finidi George.
Finidi, signed a two-year deal with Enyimba and oversaw his first full training session with the team on Thursday after a cameo appearance on Wednesday.
Speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, Noble gave his assessment of the coach in his first session under the manager and believes the former Super Eagles winger has what it takes to lead the team to the next level.
He added that the Enyimba players will be the ones to hand Finidi George his success at the club.
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