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Russia 2018: NFF gets CAF balls, plans early camp in Nigeria

By Christian Okpara and Alex Monye   |   13 June 2017   |   4:19 am

Super Eagles’s Coach, Gernot Rohr with the team during a training session at Abuja National Stadium.

• ‘Rohr will not resign’

The Super Eagles will return to training late in July or early in August to begin preparations for their Russia 2018 World Cup back-to-back qualifiers against Cameroon, a top official of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has revealed.

Nigeria surprising lost 0-2 to South Africa in an African Nations Cup qualifier and the general consensus among the federation’s officials is that the Eagles must be adequately prepared if they were to avoid a repeat of Saturday’s disastrous outing in Uyo.

Top officials of the NFF will meet with Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung today to examine the immediate and remote causes of the bad result in Uyo and seek the way forward, especially with many more matches ahead for the Super Eagles.

A top official of the NFF told The Guardian that the federation’s technical committee has been mandated to work closely with the coaches led by Gernot Rohr, adding that some of the issues that affected the team were being addressed.

“As we speak we have cleared the CAF balls, which some people attributed for the loss. We have also looked at the game holistically and come to the conclusion that we just had a bad day in office.

“We want Nigerians to support this team rather than insulting the players. This is just the first loss in six matches and there are so many more games ahead.” Yesterday, NFF Technical Committee Chairman, Chris Green told thenff.com, the federation’s official website that the defeat has “come when we still have the opportunity to rectify things and prepare harder for the remaining matches of the FIFA World Cup qualifying race.

“Losing to South Africa was never in our calculation, but it has happened. Someone once said that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going,” he added. “Now, everyone, including the technical crew and the players, know that we must work harder than we have ever done, dig deeper than we have ever done and show the kind of commitment greater than we have ever shown in the two qualifying campaigns.”

Meanwhile, Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr has said he will not resign his position following the loss to South Africa. The defeat has elicited criticism of his technical ability, with some analysts saying that he was completely outfoxed by South Africa’s Stuart Baxter.

But Rohr said the critics should look at the general picture instead of narrowing their argument on one game. Under the German coach, Nigeria has played seven games, won three, drew three and lost one.

Speaking through Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, Rohr accepted that the team lacked the ability to handle the more organized South Africa side on Saturday, but he assured Nigerians that he would work hard to avoid such defeats in the future.




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