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Yisa Sofoluwe advises Rohr to invite Olympic stars for World Cup qualifiers


Gernot Rohr

Gernot Rohr

Taifa Stars begin training for Eagles

Former Super Eagles defender, Yisa Sofoluwe, has urged the new national team manager, Gernot Rohr, to include some of the U-23 players, who won the bronze medal at the just concluded Rio 2016 Olympics, into the team preparing for a Gabon 2017 African Nations Cup qualifier against Tanzania and the Russia 2018 World Cup game against Zambia.

Sofoluwe said the new Eagles’ manager needed hungry and committed players to get the World Cup ticket, adding that the German should see the game against the Taifa Stars of Tanzania as part of the preparations for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

He advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to organise quality warm up games for the Eagles to help the new helmsman discover the lapses in the team, just as he counseled the coach to give all the invited players a level playing ground to fight for shirts.


“Some of the U-23 players need to be invited to fight shirt in the Eagles. They are players hungry to make names for themselves.

“The Super Eagles coach should also use the Tanzania game to test the players he needs for the 2018 World and because it is his first assignment, pressure should not be put on him to win at all cost.

“Rohr needs to fix his mind now on fashioning out strategies that would lift Nigeria above its opponents at the World Cup qualifiers and I think the Tanzania tie should be one of the platforms to do that,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Tanzania Coach, Boniface Mkwasa, has called up 20 players for the qualifier game against Eagles, with RC Genk’s Mbwana Samata, who is captain of the squad, Haji Mwinyi, Shomari Kapombe and David Mwantika leading the list.

The list also includes John Bocco from Azam, Andrew Vincent of Yanga and Farid Mussa, but there is no spot for Juma Abdul, Erastor Nyoni and Mwinyi Kazimoto.

Tanzania resumed training yesterday for the Super Eagles tie and will train for three days before heading to Nigeria to face the Eagles.

Tanzania were held to a goalless draw by the Super Eagles in the first leg of the encounter, and will look to avoid defeat in the last group game.

Egypt have already won the group with Nigeria in second place and Tanzania rooted at the bottom after Chad withdrew from the qualifiers mid-way through.

The match will be played at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium on September 3 in what will be the first game in charge for new Nigeria coach, Gernot Rohr.

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