Tuesday Jul 06, 2021. 13:00
Nigeria national team coach Gernot Rohr has said that he will consider locally-based players for the Super Eagles’ 2022 World Cup Qualifiers (WCQ) in September.
A Nigerian ‘B Team’ made up of locally-based players suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Mexico in a friendly in Los Angeles this past weekend.
Rohr has generally shied away from selecting many players from Nigeria’s top flight NPFL – an approach he has received heavy criticism for.
Although the heavy defeat to El Tri may have gone some way in vindicating the coach’s stance, he has revealed that NPFL players will definitely be considered for their upcoming WCQ Group C matches.
The Super Eagles will face Liberia (home) and Cape Verde Islands (away) in September as they begin the long road to qualifying for Qatar 2022.
“I saw a wonderful game and we are happy to see football games with the fans,” Rohr said at the post-match press conference, as quoted by Leadership.
“It was such a long time we had to play in empty stadiums and now it has come back to normal football, normal situation.
“Mexico is number eleven in the world and they showed why. Our young team is the best professional players from Nigeria playing at home.
“They tried to so well, they learnt a lot and I saw some interesting players who could be part of the next World Cup qualifiers in September.
“This match today, we learnt a lot and that’s why we are happy to see this match in this conditions like a normal football game.”
Rohr added:”In September we will have the World Cup qualifiers and we will start at home against Liberia on the third in Lagos and few days later we will go to Cape Verde for the second game.
“We have a group of four teams and we have to finish first in this group and then progress to the play-off where we will play against any team from the other nine group.
“It is a long way to the World Cup but today’s match has given me the idea of some of the local players can be part of some of these big games.”
“We want to qualify for the World Cup like the last time and then meet teams like Mexico who showed how good they are with their movement, speed, fitness and technique. So it was a good lesson for our local players today and I think that Mexico are one of the favourites for the Concacaf Gold Cup.”