Former Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has given the reasons why football development in Morocco is far ahead of Nigeria, following their historic achievement at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
While the Atlas Lions were very impressive in Qatar and became the first African nation to qualify for the last four of the World Cup, the Eagles failed to qualify for the tournament after losing to Ghana during the qualification series.
Walid Regragui’s team made an impression by defeating Belgium, Canada, Spain, and Portugal to reach the semi-final of the biggest football showpiece in Qatar. But narrowly lost to Croatia 2-1 on Saturday to finish fourth at the Mundial.
Rohr, who was sacked as Eagles gaffer in December 2021, following a series of underwhelming performances by the three-time African champions, said he was not shocked by the rise of football development in Morocco, highlighting poor grassroots football development as the reason behind Nigeria’s failure.
“Poor infrastructure and poor education are the problems in such countries, “ Rohr told Augsburger-Allgemeine
“This shows in bad conditions, run-down pitches, or neglected stadiums. I experienced this myself in Lagos with its 19 million inhabitants. The poor organization of their championship with constant interruptions was also a problem in Nigeria.
“Most clubs didn’t even have a youth section despite so many playing football. Everything went through private academies that wanted to make quick money by training talent.”
Morocco kept four clean sheets at the World Cup 2022, one more than they had recorded in their first 16 games in the competition between 1970 and 2018.
Their total of seven clean sheets is the joint-most by an African nation in World Cup history, level with Nigeria.
This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago