Gernot Rohr predicts difficult 2022 for Nigeria

Chidi Nwoke, Abuja.

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Nigerian national team manager Gernot Rohr

Nigerian national team manager Gernot Rohr has predicted a difficult 2022 for the three-time African champions, the Super Eagles, following the postponement of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations by a year.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) last week announced that the 2021 AFCON will now hold in Cameroon in 2022, after the coronavirus pandemic forced a change in the football calendar.

Qualifying matches for the competition were also postponed in March, while games billed to hold later this year could now be shifted to 2021.

With a strenuous qualifying campaign across two tournaments expected for 2021, however, Rohr expressed confidence in his team’s chances of qualifying for the competition and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“The African Cup of Nations is postponed. It’s the same for everyone, so it’s not a drawback. We have more time to prepare as well as for other countries,” Rohr said in an interview.

“We can continue the play-offs and start the World Cup qualifiers at the same time. But it will be a difficult 2022 year because already in 2021, there are a lot of qualifying matches to play for the team (Super Eagles).

“I think we will have time to play a few friendlies. In the year 2022, if we have qualified for the World Cup and the AFCON, there will be many, many games to play. So it will certainly be a difficult year (2022),” the German tactician added.

Rohr’s new contract with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), was signed in May and is set to run till the end of 2022. It includes a mandate to qualify for the next World Cup and win the AFCON, after helping the Super Eagles win bronze in Egypt last year.

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