Gernot Rohr must properly screen and justify Super Eagles squad list - Amuneke

Published on: 18 March 2021

Former Super Eagles attacker, Emmanuel Amuneke, believes the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) should properly screen and get Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr, to defend his choice before the final list of players for every game is officially made public.

Amuneke, who has just been made a member of the FIFA Study Group, said on a radio programme yesterday that inviting clubless Ahmed Musa, who has not been active in football for five months, was wrong.

He urged the NFF to set a template for coaches to follow while picking players for matches, adding that the absence of such rules would give room for all manner of people to find their way into the national teams.

“I don’t have anything against Ahmed Musa… in fact, I was among those who recommended him for the national team following his displays for his club against my team Ocean Boys in the Nigerian league.

“He is a good player, but sentiments aside, Ahmed Musa does not have any business with the national team because he has been absence from football for five months.

“If he is coming to motivate the players, fine; but coming as part of the team is not fair on other players who deserve to be in the Eagles list.

“In Spain, where I played and even in Germany, where Rohr hails from, he cannot invite a player that is not active in football for five months.

“Rohr is a foreign coach, but it is quite unfortunate he is working in a country that does not really pay attention to some key issues. As a coach in Tanzania, I call a press conference and defend each player I want to invite before bringing it out the list officially to the public. It is good for a coach to defend his team list for transparency sake,” Amuneke said.

He advised the NFF and football stakeholders to start working on developing and impacting new strategies to young players in academies and grassroots teams to meet the high level of competition on the global stage.

“In the past, when Nigerian teams meet Asians it was easy for us to beat them in football. But these days, it is not like that.

“The Asians have gone back to develop themselves more in the game. Nigeria has to follow this same trend by constantly developing players on the rudiments and latest style of the game. Football is changing everyday.”

Amuneke canvassed for the U-17 national team to become a melting pot for all young footballers from all part of the country with the best selected to represent the country without sentiments.

He also called on football stakeholders to educate players and coaches on the consequences of MRI test conducted on U-17 teams.

“It is embarrassing that most times Nigerian players in U-17 championships are screened out by MRI tests. This is not good for the country’s image… it portrays Nigeria as a country that cheats in football.

“We are supposed to have overgrown this at this level. Proper education and orientation need to be done to ensure the right set of players are presented for MRI screening during age grade competitions to avoid such embarrassments.”