Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has defended his preference for overseas-based stars over domestic league players in the national team.
This is coming after he was informed by the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, that he would be mandated to stay in the country and watch the Nigeria Professional Football League to scout for talents, as part of conditions for his contract renewal.
Heartland goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, is the only home-based footballer who’s been regularly invited to the team since Rohr took charge in 2016.
“We cannot find all the time players in the local league who are better than the other ones (in Europe),” Rohr told ESPN’s Colin Udoh.
“The first criterion is the quality of the players. Everybody knows, not only in Nigeria, that the best players are in Europe or somewhere else in professional leagues. That is the fact.
“I invited already more than 23 or 24 local players since I have been in charge of the Super Eagles but we invite them and then immediately they are going to Europe. It is wonderful for them but maybe not for us.”
He also ruled out testing new players in the team in the near future, saying the Eagles fixtures would be packed after the coronavirus battle was over.
Rohr said, “When you see the calendar which will come, there will be so many games in the second half of the year. And already decisive games for the World Cup will start in the end of the year. The qualification for AFCON, too, will have to finish before.