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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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 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 FIFA.com 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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The 2013 African champion has been grouped together with the Albiceleste of Argentina for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

 The two sides were in the same group at the 2002, 2010, and 2014 World Cup – with the Argentines coming victorious on the three occasions.

Nigeria, who defeated Argentina 4-2 in a friendly match in Russia last month were placed in Group D alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina.

The Super Eagles will be playing Argentina last in the group as they will need to slug it out first with Croatia, followed by Iceland

Meanwhile, another African representative at the World Cup, Egypt will battle host Russia, Saudi Arabia and maiden champion of the World Cup, Uruguay as they were all placed in Group A.

2010 World Cup winner Spain will do battle with European Champion, Portugal, Iran and Morocco.

Full group:

Group A

Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

 

 Group B

Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

 

Group c

France, Peru, Australia, Denmark

 

Group D

Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

 

Group E

Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

 

Group F

Germany, Mexico, Korea Republic, Sweeden

 

Group G

Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

 

Group H

Poland , Senegal, Japan, Colombia

 

 

 

 

 

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NFF and Mikel Disagree over Bonus Proposal

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 16:48

Players of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, led by team captain, John Mikel Obi have rejected NFF’s bonus proposal  aimed at seeing players rewarded based on minutes played during World Cup qualifiers.

According to SCORENigeria, the players rejected the offer as they felt the ‘pay based on minutes played’ proposal isn't good for team unity.

Also, the source, according to SCORENigeria, said Mikel and the players turned down the proposal as some players who got a call up(s) but didn’t get to play any minute will miss out from the $3m available for the Super Eagles’ players.

Instead of the ‘pay-per-minute,’ the players have rather agreed on $3m qualifying bonus price which will be shared amongst the players according to their appearances and call-ups.

The source, as quoted by The Nation said: “Mikel and the rest of the team out rightly booted out in a proposal brought forward by one of the NFF Vice Presidents that they should now be paid the bonus by the number of the minutes they played in the qualifiers.

“That would have meant some of the players who were called up but never get to play will not benefit from the bonus.”

“To be paid according to playing time will bring desperation in the team, desperation in the team, against team spirit and the players rejected this.”

Players to Get $15,000 for a Win in Russia

The Nigeria Football Federation had been reported to have decided that $15, 000 will be pocketed by the players as win bonus in the group stage of next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Reports had it that the players won’t receive any bonus for a draw or loss. But sources said the NFF were working on a formula to compensate the players for a draw or loss.

 

 

 

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