By Salifu Usman, Abuja
Former Nigerian international, Garba Lawal has condemned the decision of Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr to ignore the advice of the Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation, Austin Eguavoen, in regards to watching matches of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in order to build a formidable home-based team.
Lawal stated this on the backdrop of reports that some foreign-based players may fail to honour the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against the Squirrels of Benin and Crocodile of Lesotho due to the Covid-19 travel ban imposed by some European countries.
Speaking on Brila FM, Lawal faulted Rohr’s decision not to listen to Eguavoen’s call for him to monitor the NPFL in a bid to discover players that can be part of the Super Eagles in case of a situation like this.
Recall that Simon Moses was prevented by Nantes from attending the AFCON qualifiers and there reports that some key Super Eagles players may pull out from the games too.
“This is the advice that Technical Director of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Austin Eguavoen, always gives to Rohr, that he should go around, watch our league so he can have home-based players, but it seems the White man is not ready to do that.”
“I’m also thinking, what if the foreign (based) players refused to arrive because of the COVID-19 situation and their Club’s refuse to allow them to leave, it is going to be a problem for the Nigeria Football Federation and for the National team because the game is just next week and we don’t have a plan B, what happens if the players don’t assemble. What do we do then?”
“Eguavoen was insisting on Rohr to go around, to watch our league and if he has been doing so this would have been an easy thing; he would have penciled down names of players to fill in any void. I pray their clubs will allow them to come play otherwise this will be a big problem for us.”
“It’s a tricky situation, very difficult. That’s why it is good as a Coach to have your plan B. If he had our local players assemble for long this wouldn’t have been a problem. He’s been in Nigeria for over a month. He would have gone round, see those playing in the continent and in the league he would pick from there.”