Monday Mar 04, 2019. 10:15
Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has downplayed his team’s chances of winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Super Eagles have already secured qualification for the finals in Egypt later this year, making their last preliminary game at home to the Seychelles later this month nothing more than a dead rubber.
Nigeria did not qualify for the last two editions of the AFCON in 2015 and 2017, though they did claim the continental crown on their last appearance back in 2013.
Rohr insists that his side should not be considered one of the favourites for the title, pointing out that they are not in the top three African nations on the FIFA rankings.
Nigeria are fourth (46th overall), with Senegal first (24), followed by Tunisia (28) and Morocco (43) in second and third respectively.
“No, I do not think we can say that. When we look at the ranking of Africa and FIFA, we are not the first African country,” Rohr replied when asked by girondins4ever if Nigeria are amongst the favourites.
“There are other countries in front of us, I think we are fourth. There is Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt that may be favourite at home for the AFCON, there is also Senegal in front of us.
“The ranking is not just the latest results, but for a few years. In 2014, 2015, Nigeria was not great and did not qualify for the last two AFCONs. It has somewhat handicapped its ranking at FIFA and Africa.”