Gernot Rohr: I would have taken Nigeria to quarter finals of World Cup

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The 68-year-old former Super Eagles manager has spoken out after Nigeria lost the World Cup ticket to Ghana on Tuesday.

Nigeria and Ghana played out a 1-1 aggregate score over two legs in Kumasi and Abuja which saw Ghana qualify for the World Cup on away goals. Several actions have followed the loss, including the sacking of every member of the Super Eagles technical team and the resignation of Augustine Eguavoen from his role within the Nigerian Football Federation.

Rohr, who was sacked in December 2021 by the NFF, only two weeks to the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon held in January 2022, has claimed that Nigeria would be preparing for Qatar if he was still coach of the team.

The Franco-German, who was the Super Eagles manager for five years and led the team to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and to a third place finish at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt, said after the Super Eagles were knocked out by Ghana:  “We had all the hope that Nigeria would qualify and I believe that the better players are in Nigeria not in Ghana.

“But sometimes the collective work of a team can be stronger than the individual strength of the other team.

“My target was to go to the World Cup in Qatar and to go at least to the quarter-final and also to have a good image of Nigerian football like we had in the last five years. Now I see in the newspapers, the pictures of what happened after the match in Abuja and it is not good for the image of Nigerian football and of all the country.

“So, yes, I hope that Nigeria will come back and the young players we have will fight together again and write a better page in the future for Nigerian football.”

Elsewhere, the Super Eagles scored a small win in football despite losing out on the World Cup ticket. The official FIFA rankings now lists Nigeria as the 30th strongest team in world football.

The three-time Africa champions ended March on a positive note despite missing the opportunity to appear at a fourth consecutive World Cup. Before the qualifiers, Nigeria were ranked 32 in the world and fifth in Africa. However, according to the rankings released on Thursday 31 March, Nigeria is now 30th in the world and third in Africa.

Meanwhile, Ghana, who pipped Nigeria to the World Cup ticket, only moved up a place in the world rankings. The Black Stars are now 60th from their former 61st position, and are 11th in Africa.

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago

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