Gernot Rohr coach of Nigeria
Wednesday Nov 28, 2018. 10:15
Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has denied reports of a rift between himself and Trabzonspor midfielder Ogenyi Eddy Onazi.
Onazi withdrew from Nigeria’s squad for their back-to-back 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Libya in October with injury.
However, the 25-year-old then featured in Trabzonspor’s next Super Lig match once the international break was over, prompting critics to question the extent of his injury.
Onazi was then omitted from Nigeria’s squad for the AFCON qualifier against South Africa and a friendly with Uganda earlier this month.
His absence was a major surprise, with the Super Eagles shorn of both John Obi Mikel and the suspended Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi.
Many assumed that Rohr was annoyed by Onazi’s quick return to fitness in October and deliberately left him out the following international break to send a message.
But the German denied this earlier in the week: “After compiling my list of players for any particular match, l submit to the President of the Nigeria Football Federation and the Technical Committee,” he was quoted by All Nigeria Soccer.
“I have to submit for them to approve. However there has never been any time where they have asked me to drop a player. That l would not accept. It is not true that l have issues with Ogenyi.”
Onazi will hope to feature for Trabzonspor when they face Kayserispor away on Saturday for their round 14 Turkish Super Lig match.