By Amaechi Agbo
Coach of Nigeria senior male football team, the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr has disclosed that Africa will not with the FIFA World Cup anytime soon unless certain factors are put in place.
Speaking in an interview with News Central TV, as quoted by Punch, the Eagles coach said the inability of majority of African footballers to play for the big European clubs was a big hindrance to their dream of winning the World Cup.
“We are not ready yet in Africa to win the World Cup for several reasons,” Rohr said.
“The first reason for me is the organisation, general organisation; there are still a lot of problems, for travelling, for preparation of the game specifically. We have not been able to play in Lagos for over 10 years, here there is no tradition.
“France are world champions for the moment, where do their players play? They play in PSG, Bayern Munich and other big clubs. Four of them play for Bayern, Tolisso, Pavard – who scored in the final – Lucas Hernandez and Kingsley Coman. When you have so many players from your country playing in the best clubs, the probability that you have one of the best teams in the world is very big.”
Using the Eagles as an example, the Franco-German said Nigerian players only featured for average teams in Europe. According to him, having one or two players in big teams like Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in Liverpool for Senegal and Egypt respectively is not enough.
“What we have in Nigeria for example, we have our players in Fulham, West Brom, not Bayern Munich, not PSG, not Liverpool and not Manchester City, not Barcelona, not Real Madrid, but these other countries have their players there. So, it would be a miracle if we actually win the World Cup.
“It’s not enough to have few players in big clubs, you need at least 15 or 20 players and the French players are at least 30 in big clubs everywhere, so it is easier to choose the high quality than if you only have (Wilfred) Ndidi and (Kelechi) Iheanacho in Leicester City, which is a good club, but we don’t have any player in Chelsea like before. So, I think we have to wait for this moment to prepare our players so that they can play for big clubs because work is done all year round in the biggest clubs, not in the two weeks we have them together in the national team,” Rohr added.