Super Eagles coach Rohr rues Cote D'Ivoire withdrawal from planned friendly match

Published on: 28 September 2020

Super Eagles German coach Gernot Rohr said he was hugely disappointed that Cote d’Ivoire have pulled out of the eagerly awaited next month’s friendly match, even as he acknowledged African champions Algeria as worthy replacement.

The Elephants were initially scheduled to play Nigeria on October 9 in Austria but the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) confirmed over the weekend that their West African neighbours pulled out of the encounter due to internal problems.

“Of course, we have Algeria now but I regretted that we are not going to play Cote d’Ivoire again because we had planned to play at least a game against a Black African team,” Rohr told NationSport.

“But now we have to play against two Maghreb teams; unfortunately we don’t have Maghreb teams not for the AFCON qualifiers and not for the Qatar 2022 World Cup too.

“But it’s okay because it was very difficult (to get a replacement) in the last moments to replace the Ivory Coast team.”

Meanwhile, Rohr noted that the Super Eagles are not on a revenge mission against the Fennecs of Algeria following his side’s 1-0 loss to the North Africans at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt, adding the game as well as the other tie against Tunisia on October 13 offers him opportunity to appraise new national team call ups.

“There is nothing about revenge against Algeria; it is just a test game to prepare our team and we are going to see about six new players which is the most important thing for us,” explained Rohr. “We are not keen about the results but how we can play against difficult oppositions and see those players who can make us better.”

Meanwhile, the former Bayern Munich defender said he was happy that Leicester City’s defender Wilfred Ndidi has undergone a successful surgery at the weekend after he injured his adductor against Burnley last Sunday.