Lagos stadium not ready for Eagles’ AFCON qualifier – Rohr


Johnny Edward

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, says “there’s still a lot of work to be done” at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, ahead of next month’s 2021 AFCON qualifier between Nigeria and Lesotho.

Rohr made this known during the launch of the Authentic Nigeria Football Supporters Club in Surulere, Lagos on Wednesday.

The Franco-German expressed concerns over the playing pitch of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, which will host Lesotho March 30.

“It is not easy for the league players playing on old synthetic pitches and old grasses,” Rohr said.

“Infrastructures are very bad in Nigeria and they want us to win all the matches, but we don’t have the best of conditions.

“We have to prepare for these games. There is still a lot of work to do with the facilities, training grounds and the dressing room at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, where we will play our final game.

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“We must give the best condition to the players because they are used to playing on good pitches and it’s not easy for them to play on the grass, which is not the same like they are used to.

“Everyone must work hard to ensure we succeed. We need just one point to qualify for the AFCON and we must do that quickly in our next game in Cotonou, before the other fixture in Lagos against Lesotho.

Rohr remained tight-lipped over the inclusion of captain Ahmed Musa for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin Republic and Lesotho.

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The 28-year-old has been a free agent since leaving Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr in October 2020 and has been linked with several English clubs.

He completed a successful medical at EPL side West Bromwich Albion but the club pulled out of a planned short-term deal because of a lack of finances, according to reports.

“It’s unfortunate it didn’t work out at West Brom but I believe Musa will find another club soon,” Rohr added.

“He needs a club. He needs to sign for a team to be in shape. He wanted to return to England but that has not happened, he has other proposals. He needs to play very quickly now. We are in touch. We try to help him get a team. Some coaches are still looking out for a striker and they have called me and we will see how we will help him.”

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Nigeria lead Group L with eight points from four games and will seal qualification for the AFCON tournament next year should they nick a point against second-place Benin Republic, who have seven points, in Cotonou on March 22.

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