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Eguma blames poor local leagues for Rohr’s apathy towards home-based players

By Samuel Ifetoye
08 October 2021   |   3:02 am
Rivers United Football Club Coach, Stanley Eguma, has blamed the continued neglect of home-based players by senior national team coaches on the poor state of the Nigerian leagues

Nigeria’s German coach Gernot Rohr looks on during the 2022 Qatar World Cup African qualifiers group 3 football match between Nigeria and Central Africa Republic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Surulere in Lagos State, on October 7, 2021. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Rivers United Football Club Coach, Stanley Eguma, has blamed the continued neglect of home-based players by senior national team coaches on the poor state of the Nigerian leagues.

Nigeria played against the Central African Republic (CAR) in a World Cup qualifier in Lagos, yesterday, with a team wholly made up of Europe-based stars.

Unlike in previous teams, which had some home-based stars, Coach Gernot Rohr invited entirely foreign-based players for the Group C World Cup qualifier against CAR.

Speaking to The Guardian during the week, Eguma said, “It is said that none of our home-based players was included for the Super Eagles match against the Central Republic. But go to other countries, you will see the home-based players in their teams. In Egypt, home-based players make up at least 60 per cent of the team. But in Nigeria, it is usually a different story.

“However, Rohr should not be held responsible for the absence of our domestic league players because I believe home-based players are not being supported and encouraged.

“Each time we hurriedly assemble a home-based Super Eagles team, they fail because of inadequate preparation.

“That was what happened in the friendly against Mexico in the United States, where the players were assembled less than five days to the game.”

“Meanwhile, these players are supposed to be at the camp regularly, training together for cohesion and understanding. It is supposed to be unending camping; we are just not investing enough in them and we want the best from them.”

Eguma, whose team is currently in the CAF Champions League, added, ”I think we should try and build an enduring home-based national Eagles because this will give Rohr the opportunity to invite them into the Eagles team.

“Obviously, denying these players invitation to the Eagles’ squad will affect their growth and even our football. It is an indication that we no longer have quality players, which will, in the long run, automatically reduce the value of our leagues. It then means that our leagues are no more viable.”