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2019 AFCON qualifiers: Rohr returns today

Nigeria’s German coach Gernot Rohr looks on during a training session at Essentuki Arena in Yessentuki, southern Russia, on June 18, 2018 during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. / AFP PHOTO /

By John Egbokhan

Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr returns to Nigeria today to face a multitude of challenges, which he must quickly deal with before next month’s 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier with minnows Seychelles.

After leading the Eagles to group stage exit at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Rohr is desperate to pander his way back into the hearts of skeptical Nigerian fans, who were left bewildered with the performance of the three-time African champions at the last Mundial.

The Franco-German born trainer knows he has his work cut out for him as he resumes duties, with the little issue of the game with Seychelles on September 8 top on his to-do-list, as he attempts to plough Nigeria back into contention for the 2019 Nations Cup holding in Cameroon.

Eagles are third in Group E, after an opening day loss to South Africa, who are second behind leaders Libya and Rohr will start assessing the players he hopes to invite for the Seychelles game, in view of the fact that talismanic midfielder, Victor Moses has ended his romance with the national team.

Moses decision to dump Eagles to focus on his Chelsea career will certainly be troubling Rohr, who may try to reach out to the player to have a change of mind as well as explore other options should the Chelsea wing-back stick to his guns.

As if his worries are not enough, Rohr will also be keen to see an end to the never-ending leadership tussle for the soul of the Nigeria Football Federation, that has seen world-football governing body, FIFA hand Nigeria an ultimatum to resolve its issues or face a possible ban today.

A FIFA ban would deal a serious blow to any effort that Rohr may be nursing in his attempt to rebuild the Super Eagles for a  strong and successful campaign in the 2019 AFCON qualification process.

 


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