Nigeria Football

Rohr: Local players see Eagles invitation as an avenue to make money

Super Eagles headcoach Gernot Rohr has said players from the Nigeria Professional Football League use the invitation to play for the national team as an avenue to make more money.

While explaining the reason behind the limited chances the local players had received thus far, the German tactician mentioned that the players only want invitation so they can move abroad.

“Since I’ve been here for two and a half years, I’ve invited more than 22 local players but all of them are now abroad. And every time we start inviting again, and everyone wants to come because it is the way to go to Europe to make money, which is normal.

“You’ve seen that we have four of them now because I invited two from U-20; the captain (Ikouwem Udoh) and the best defender (Valentine Ozornwafor). But you know each time we invite somebody (home-based player), a few weeks later, he is in Europe. So he is no more a local player.”

Gernot Rohr also called on the bodies running the league in Nigeria to improve the condition of play in the country to afford the local players similar playing level as their counterparts from Europe.

“I can tell you that it’s not easy for the local players to make it to the Super Eagles when you see the conditions.

“They have to play in old astroturf, in a championship which is playing for six or seven months. How do you want them to be fit and be able to compete with players in Europe who have the best conditions for training, playing, organization and health.

“But they need better infrastructure here. Imama Amapakabo and I agreed that he worked so many years here in the clubs. The infrastructures, the training conditions, the organization, the big transport, the high distances and all these things including the organization of the league; not playing for six months, is very difficult for the local players,” Rohr said.

Of the 23 players called up for Super Eagles games against Seychelles and Egypt this week, four players namely Ikouwem Udoh, Valentine Ozornwafor, Ndifreke Effiong, and Ikechukwu Ezenwa are from Nigerian clubs.

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