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Russia 2018: Simon not fit for World Cup, Rohr says

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Eagles Head Coach Gernot Rohr has revealed that injured Moses Simon would not be fit to merit a berth in the final 23-man squad for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Rohr stated this during his pre-match press conference before the team’s training session at the Wembley Stadium on Friday.

Simon was initially ruled out of the World Cup by Head Coach Gernot Rohr after the player’s first scan results confirmed he would be out of the tournament.

However, Moses requested for a further scan in the UK, with Rohr granting him his wish to prove his fitness ahead of the world cup.

Reports on the NFF official Twitter handle on Wednesday had quoted Coach Rohr as saying that he was willing to wait and see if the player could make a late push for the World Cup in Russia.

But Rohr hinted that the Gent of Belgium winger had finally been ruled out of the World Cup after a latest medical scan confirmed that he won’t be fit for the competition.

“We have all our players in camp. Victor Moses was the last to arrive camp and he has had just one training session with us and will have another today (Friday).

“All the players are ready for the World Cup except for Simon Moses who is out for four weeks,” he said.

NAN also reports that with the team’s first choice goalkeeper Carl Ikeme also ruled out of the World Cup on health grounds, the fight for Eagles’ number one shirt has generated heated arguments among the fans.

Young goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho, seems to be the favourite after the team’s last three games against Poland, Serbia and DR Congo but Rohr insisted that the position was still up for grabs.

“Uzoho came in against Argentina and since then he has been showing confidence and making great efforts. However, we have three goalkeepers,” he said.

The former Niger Republic and Gabon coach also played down the Super Eagles’ chances of becoming the first African country to win the World Cup.

“We are not among the favourites. If you look at the FIFA ranking, you will see there are teams who are better than us.

“It is important for us not to think we can win the World Cup,” Rohr said.

He also highlighted the importance of Saturday’s friendly match against England to the team’s quest of having a successful outing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The three-time African champions will face the Three Lions in their second pre-World Cup friendly at Wembley Stadium.

Captain Mikel Obi, Alex Iwobi and a number of first team regulars were not involved from the start in Monday’s 1-1 draw against Democratic Republic of Congo in Port Harcourt.

However, Rohr noted that he would name a strong side against Gareth Southgate’s men.

“Tomorrow, we would play a big team like England, it is an important game for us.

“It will be an interesting game for us. In the game against Congo, we didn’t play our best team, but we will change things against England and play our best players.

“The atmosphere is going to be great and we hope to enjoy it and possibly win the game,” he said. (NAN)




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