Vincent Enyeama has been mooted for a return to the Super Eagles for the World Cup, but Gernot Rohr has said the veteran shot-stopper would not make the squad to Russia due to his lack of game time

Enyeama retired abruptly from the national team in 2015 but discourse on him returning to the team has been on the table for months, but Rohr has adduced that the Lille goalkeeper lack of game time at his club meant he was out of the team for Russia.

The 101 capped Nigerian international last featured for the first team of Lille in the game against Rennes last April.

And speaking to reporters at Aiteo/Nigeria Football Federation Awards, Rohr as quoted by Vanguard said Enyeama would not be part of his team for the World Cup.

“He {Enyeama} is not playing anywhere, so we cannot take players who are not playing,” Rohr said.

“We are working hard to have the best of our legs taken to Russia and we don’t have the best luxury of naming a player that has not been playing in recent time.

“Each time we have a problem, there is always a good answer and I hope it will be the same for the World Cup.

“We currently have so many players in camp and we want to continue monitoring them. The most important thing is for them to be in best shape for the Mundial.”

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Two African teams will be at the semis, and Nigeria will win the World Cup – Amokachi

With Rohr ruling Enyeama out of the World Cup, The Franco-German would be left to pick three amongst Francis Uzuoho, Daniel Akpeyi, Dele Ajiboye, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Ajiboye that would represent the country at the World Cup.

All the available options for Rohr are deemed inexperienced at the highest level.

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Former Nigerian international Daniel Amokachi has predicted that African countries would fare well at this year World Cup and added that the Super Eagles would emerge as the winner of the Mundial.

Getting to the quarter finals was the highest feat African countries as attained at the World Cup – feats achieved by Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010 but Amokachi, who represented Nigeria at the 1994 and 1998 World Cup predicted that the feat would be usurped in Russia

According to him, three African countries would reach the quarters of the World Cup, two in the semis and Nigeria would emerge winner of the Mundial.

The former Everton striker made the statement at the partnership signing between the Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF ) and Nigerian Breweries and he was quoted by vanguard to have said: “ I was asked in the studio where I work about the chances of African representatives at the World Cup this year, I was emphatic.

“I said four teams from Africa would be in the second round, three teams from Africa would be in the quarter final, two in the semi-final and one will be in the final.

“And Nigeria will win the World Cup. That is what I believe. You may have your own belief.”

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Rohr: Enyeama, Ajiboye, Ezenwa in contention for Russia, Eagles to camp in Austria

Nigeria will kick-start their World Cup campaign against Croatia on June 16 at the Kaliningrad Stadium before facing Iceland and Argentina on June 22 and 26 respectively.

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria has given “football fans unforgettable memories” at the World Cup, says Federation of International Football Association ( FIFA ).

The three-time African Champions will be making their sixth appearance at the World Cup later this year in Russia and FIFA has paid tribute to Nigeria and some of her ex players who had lit up the World Cup in the past.

In a text to back some of the video clips of the Super Eagles at the World Cup shared on the FIFA website, the World governing body of football wrote: “The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ will mark Nigeria’s sixth appearance at the global finals. The African side made their debut at USA 1994, winning over supporters across the world with their exciting brand of football as they bowed out at the Round of 16 against eventual finalists Italy.

“…From Daniel Amokachi to Emmanuel Amunike, Sunday Oliseh to Jay-Jay Okocha, the high-flying Super Eagles have given football fans some unforgettable memories. We pay tribute to some of the Nigeria icons who have made their mark on the World Cup.”

The Super Eagles were the first side to qualify from the African continent and have been drawn in Group D against Croatia, Iceland and Argentina.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles forward Ahmed Musa has revealed that the team was prepared to make it pass the group stage as they’ve set a quarter final or semi-final agenda.

The Technical Adviser of the side, Gernot Rohr has also backed Musa stance – saying quarter final was the minimum the Super Eagles wanted to reach at the World Cup.

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By Segun Odegbami

This conversation took place some 24 years ago. It was never published in print. RASHIDI returned forcefully into my life last week in a most bizarre circumstance. I believe he wanted his memory to be kept alive. Hence this, transcribed and edited from a video recording lying idly in my archival library. Excerpts:

I started my football career in Kaduna.
That is the place I was born. When I started, my mother did not want me to play football. She was so afraid, but my father was not.
When I was young I started playing with older people. I had somebody called Ade, who, at the time, was also playing for UNTL. He advised me to come and to start training with UNTL FC at that time.

I was 16 or 17 around 1981. So, I joined him. Luckily I had nice coaches, Coach Jubril and Coach Sule.
Sule, who now coaches Kano Pillars, as well as the coach of UNTL, liked me. They wanted me to play the game.
I was a good player. Sometimes I played, sometimes I did not.
After that, I was contacted by a man, who came all the way from IICC, called Mr. Adegoke. People used to tell me about IICC having interest in us.

So, at that time they came for us.

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Rashidi Yekini Visited me - Segun Odegbami  

We were very happy when he told us about IICC. I, with Kayode Aina, Shola Akinsola and Olu Kalejaiye were playing for UNTL. Another one of us was playing for Lead insurance. Daniel Abdullahi was already in IICC.

So, they told all four of us to come at that time. IICC wanted us to come and do some trials.

We were very happy to see you, Segun Odegbami.  

We were not thinking of money at that time. Even if they told us about money, we were not interested. Seeing you and the opportunity to play with you made us happy.

So, we said we would stay for the trial, and IICC took us.
After that we went back to Kaduna to play for the qualifying series to the second division with UNTL.

After that we finally left and came to IICC.
Well, my experience in IICC, I was very, very happy. It was a great thing in my life because it was my first division One club at that time. This was one of the greatest clubs in Africa.
I was very happy to be there. And at that time, I had people like you on my side. I had a very great experience and I will not forget it in my life. So, what happened really was the way I left IICC. I was not happy.

The way a person like you also left IICC at that time, did not make me happy because, when I came to IICC I did not come to make millions. I came because of you and the love I had for IICC at that time. You, as a person, Segun Odegbami, is why I came at that time. The way you left the team did not make me happy.
That was when I went to Abiola Babes.  When I wanted to go to Abiola Babes I met you, you gave me some advice because of the situation in the club at the time.
So, I left the club. I thought I should try Abiola Babes. You told me to go ahead, no problem.  And I went to Abiola Babes.
So, my experience in Abiola Babes. I was very happy. I was very happy to work with MKO Abiola because he added something to my life.

At that time, we went there with a car loan, and he cleared it for us.

So, I was very happy to work with him. And then I also played with Best Ogedengbe and a lot of great players of that time. So, I was very happy there.
After that, anywhere I went to I was very happy. I used to get advice and ask from you before I did something.
When Abiola disbanded, ACB of Lagos and some other clubs said they wanted me to come, but I said no, and that I had not decided anything yet.

I did not have the idea of going to Abidjan at that time. I just joined the national team.
Luckily, I had the offer from Abidjan, African Sport FC. The president, President Zenzoe, called me to come and to join them.
I went there for a trial and I loved it. That was how I joined them there.
So, on getting there, I had a contract of one year, but the man said I should rip the contract apart, and that he was like my father, and that I should forget everything.
The man was a straight forward man. He was a great man, the way I met him. I was very happy. He was a very, very nice man. That is why I stayed there and played for him.
I had some problem because there was another club that wanted to buy me.

They wanted to give me more money. But all these didn’t affect me at the club because I respected the man a lot. He was a man of God, so I had to work with him.
After that I had an offer from St. Etienne in France. They wanted to take me as a feeder boy. But the president told them it was not possible, that if they wanted this player, they had better come and discuss it.
But the team were afraid of the money, or of the experience of the president. I was patient. I was not in a hurry. So, after that, the people from Setubal FC came.

They said they wanted me to sign a contract. I said okay, no problem.
They sat down with my president. We talked the thing out. Then I signed the contract.

Before I went there, my president told them they should respect everything in the paper we signed. So, they had to give me some money – the money I would use to arrange for my family, and everything else before I left for Portugal.
But when I got there, they didn’t give me the money quickly, and yet they didn’t say anything. So, I could not cope. I had to leave.

The Coach of the team did not want me to leave. So, I had to lie to the Coach that I wanted to bring my wife. I just told him that. I didn’t go back. The Coach was worried.
I told the management and I told my president that if they didn’t give me the money I asked for I would not go back because I needed the money to arrange my family, to give something to my mother, at least. So, my president told them, and they said they would do it.
So, that was why I didn’t go back and I returned to Nigeria. I stayed till around October that time but I had to go back to Europe in November.

So, when I got back the team was in very bad shape in the league table, so I had to struggle every day.
At that time, I played about 20 matches. I had 13 goals. It was not easy because in the team they had a lot of old players.
That apart, we had the problem of our captain and another player. They would always have a quarrel. The captain came from Porto, the other player played for Benfica. This one wanted to be captain, this one wanted to be captain.

Over there in Portugal, anytime Benfica and Porto played it was like in the days of IICC and Rangers. It was a problem for the team. Anytime we went to play, we had this problem of captaincy.
So, the team were relegated to division 2. I wanted to leave but the team said no.

So, I had to stay for two more years. It was a lesson I learnt.

The president gave me the advice that If there was any team that wanted me again, maybe even Barcelona, they had to come and discuss directly with me.

(Guardian ng)

Published in Awa Football

Gernot Rohr has revealed that the quartet of Vincent Enyeama, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Dele Ajiboye and Daniel Akpeyi were in contention to make the team to the World Cup.

The Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles in recent times had to shuffle his pack in the goalkeeping department after Carl Ikeme, the then first choice of the team was diagnosed with acute leukemia.

Vincent Enyeama, who retired abruptly from the national team in 2015 has been mooted for a possible return to the team while the duo of Ezenwa and Ajiboye starred for the CHAN Eagles that lost to Morocco in the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) final.

Akpeyi, on the other hand, has been asked to be dropped by some sections of Nigerian fans aftermath his appalling display in the Eagles 4-2 defeat of Argentina in a friendly match last November but Rohr disclosed that the Chippa United goalkeeper alongside Enyeama, Ezenwa and Ajiboye stood a chance of representing Nigeria at the World Cup.

The Franco-German, who according to completesports disclosed that the Eagles would camp in Austria said he wanted three players each for the outfield positions, while four or five goalkeepers would do battle for the available three slots.

“The idea is to have three players for every position in camp from where I would probably pick the best two each and three of the five goalkeepers for the World Cup in Russia,” Rohr told completesports.

“Akpeyi and Enyeama are still in contention for World Cup places if they are in good health, fitness and good form. But Ezenwa and Dele {Ajiboye} have been good, and if they continue to improve, we will love that because World Cup is a big stage.

Spotkick reported that Eagles’ forward Ahmed Musa said the Super Eagles had set the bar of reaching either the quarter final or semis of the Russia 2018 World Cup, Rohr also re-echoed similar stance – saying that the Eagles had set a target of reaching at least the quarter final.

He submitted that with the kind of programs that had been mapped for the Super Eagles, the team would fare well in Russia.

“We have set a target to reach the quarter final of the World Cup …. We have a good program going to Russia with series of friendly games that will put us in shape for the World Cup,” Rohr added.


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The Mathematician said the late Rashidi Yekini visited him last Wednesday

20 children will never play for 20 years but no matter what, memories will always be there to savour irrespective of the number of years.

Segun Odegbami, the mathematician has fondly called, has put up a post on how the Late Rashidi Yekini visited him in his office last Wednesday.

As quoted by, Odegbami wrote, “I had an extraordinary encounter with Rashidi Yekini today in my office. When I arrived home a few minutes ago I saw a posting about Rashidi again on FB by someone lamenting how Nigerians have forgotten the gangly one. Then it crossed my mind that the FB posting I stumbled on was a call for me to tell Nigerians about my beautiful encounter with the great Yekini.

“I have just moved into a new office. I am trying to resurrect my studios that have been ‘dead’ for over a decade. My machines and equipment are obsolete and the parts cannot be found anywhere in the world. We have searched the internet and some 6 years ago I managed to buy some old but working machines from Pakistan that also packed up soon after. So I have been left frustrated with archival materials that cannot be transferred and seen again. Or so I thought until a few days ago.

“Kunle Oladeinde, my friend and colleague in the media business, called and told me he had found a man that can fix my old machines. To cut a long story short, the man turns out to come from my village of Wasimi. He is a retired engineer who knew me very well and we had known each other without knowing that we would need each other for something special that has now turned out to be a divine intervention. He came to my office some 6 or so days ago, took one look at all my dead machines and equipment and told me he could fix them all.

“It has been 7 (seven) days or so since we reconnected but this morning the miracle happened. 3 different dead machines were miraculously revived by this genius from Wasimi. He is working on the rest. When I went to check up on him this afternoon in the studio he was watching an interview of Rashidi Yekini that I did with him some 25 years ago on the eve of the final match against Algeria that qualified Nigeria for her first World Cup. I was mesmerized because I could not remember I did any such interview. It was just between the two of us alone in a hotel room or so. It was the longest and the most detailed interview of Rashidi l ever saw up to that point in his life.

“Rashidi hated to grant interviews so there is not much you will find anywhere. But here he tells me about his early life, his journey through the game from Nigeria to Cote d’Ivoire and to Europe, his mentors, his family, and his hopes for the future, all in unbelievable beautiful fluid English! It is an incredible piece of history. Until now I did not know what to do with it, but seeing this post on FB is the response I needed.

“I shall clean it up and put it out there for all to see and hear from Rashidi Yekini himself…a full 25 minutes of him telling me his own story. Watch out for it soon through a medium I shall let everyone know.” your social media marketing partner


Published in Awa Football

The former Kano Pillars winger has revealed that the Eagles harbour no fear over their World Cup group stage meeting with Argentina.

Nigeria were drawn in Group D alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina and ahead of the meeting with the latter billed for June 26 at the Saint Petersburg Stadium, Ahmed Musa in an exclusive interview with said the Eagles are not petrified by the quality of the Albiceleste of Argentina and that of other countries that will be at the World Cup.

Musa scored a brace when the two sides (Nigeria and Argentina) in Brazil but a Lionel Messi’s brace and a goal from Marcus Rojo ensured the Albiceleste maintained their winning records over Nigeria – making it four wins in four meetings at the Mundial.

Musa celebrating his second goal against Argentina at the 2014 World Cup (Getty Image)

According to him, Eagles’ failure to book a place at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations motivated the Eagles during the qualifying series and the team is well prepared to face any team at the World Cup.

“When we realised we weren’t going to make it to the Africa Cup of Nations (last year), we decided that we were going to fight for the people of Nigeria.

“It doesn’t matter who we come up against; we’ll be giving it our best shot at the World Cup.

“We’ll be trying our hardest in every match, no matter the opposition.”

He added, “We need to set our sights high. Nigeria want to do more than just get pass the group phase.

“We want to make the quarter-finals and even the semis. Why not.”

The winger who has been warned by Gernot Rohr to look for a new club to be in a good position to make the World Cup squad has been reported to have agreed a temporary deal to leave Leicester City to join former club CSKA Moscow till the end of the season.

Musa spent four seasons with CSKA Moscow – scoring 53 goals in 169 appearances for the Russian based club.

(Getty image)

He expressed hopes of making his second appearance at the World Cup – describing the World as a very important event.

“I hope I get selected. The World Cup is a vey important event for any player,” he concluded.


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Former Super Eagles’ captain Nwankwo Kanu, through his manager, Onyebuchi Abia has confirmed the sale of Papilo FC.

Scorenigeria reported that Kanu sold Papilo's slot in the Nigeria National League (NNL) to Calabar Rovers.

Reports have it that the former Arsenal striker was frustrated over bias by match officials, who he claims do favour government-owned clubs.

On why Kanu sold the club, his manager, Abia quashed talks of frustration and cited Kanu’s passion to channel his funds towards his youth football academy as the reason for selling the club

According to Abia, the former Eagles’ captain believes his academy (Kanu Academy) has more prospect.


McCarthy explains why FIFA shunned Kanu for World best

I studied dribbling skills from Kanu - Henry

“Yes I can confirm to you that he has sold Papilo FC,” Abia, as quoted by TheCableng.

“His plans now is to channel his finances on his pet project, the Kanu Academy, which he adores as a future prospect.

“He does not want to be drawn into the stories that teams that win in the league are teams that spend money and not the best teams.

“Kanu is a major stakeholder in Nigerian football and desires all that is positive for Nigerian football.”


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Oshola is an honour to Nigeria - Rohr

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 17:41

Super Eagles Technical Adviser has described the 2017 African Women Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala as an honour to Nigeria.

Oshoala, last week, ousted the duo of Cameroon ’s Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and South Africa ’s Chrestina Kgatlana to emerge as the best female footballer on the Africa continent.

Though still saddened by Moses’s failure to make the CAF top three best, Rohr said Oshoala had made Nigeria proud.

The Franco-German noted that the three-time African best was an example for female footballers.

On the CAF award, Rohr told Supersports, “I was a little bit disappointed for Victor Moses because he ideally ought to be a nominee but he was not nominated when people were voting in November, he was injured.


I see myself as the Queen of African football

Leave Leicester - Rohr fires warning to Musa and Iheanacho

“But Asisat (Oshoala) was the honour of the country for winning the Africa women award.

“I was very happy for her. She’s an example of female football and beautiful girl like her can play good football.”

Rohr, himself missed out of winning the CAF Coach of the Year – as Hector Cooper, edged the 64-year-old and Hugo Broos to lift the gong.

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Super Eagles technical director, Gernot Rohr has fired warning to the duo of Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho to dump Leicester City for club where they would find regular playing time.

Musa and Iheanacho have been out of favour at the King Power Stadium, the former appearing in just a game in all competition and the latter in just 12 games in all competitions.

And in less than six months to go before the World Cup, the Franco-German has warned that fringe players in their respective club sides must found game time to bolster their chances of making the team that would represent Nigeria in Russia.

“My plan is to execute the World Cup with the players who are regularly with their respective clubs,” Rohr told SuperSports

“How do you expect a coach to jet out to Russia with average players who lack playing time?

“… I’m sad the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa lack playing time at Leicester City.

“I and my scouts took time to pay their coach a visit but we realised their case are getting worse.

“I hope they keep fighting for shirts to get a playing time or quit the club for a better team willing to give them playing time to showcase their talent.”

The former Niger man also added that Super Eagles stood a very good chance of making it pass the group stage in Russia.

Nigeria was drawn in Group D alongside Argentina, Croatia and Iceland but Rohr believes with good preparation and no injury, his side will advance to the Round 16.

“We have the chance to move out of the groups to the Round of 16.

“For the basics I know that with good preparation and no injury to players we will advance,” Rohr added.

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