Rohr at loggerheads with NFF over Chile friendly


Gernot Rohr is allegedly at loggerheads with the Nigeria Football Federation over the proposed friendly against Chile ahead of the Super Eagles’ trip to Russia for the 2018 World Cup.

Nigeria, who begin their Russia 2018 campaign against Croatia at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 16, have already secured six warm-up games ahead of the tournament.

The NFF announced last week that the three-time African champions  would  play  Poland (March 23), Serbia (March 27), DR Congo (May 28),  England (June 2) and   Czech Republic (June 6)  before  hitting  Russia  to make their six appearance at the world  football showpiece.

President of the federation Amaju Pinnick said the team would face a South American opponent in a friendly affair before the world’s football showpiece.

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Our correspondent learnt on Tuesday that the NFF had allegedly sealed a friendly against back-to-back Copa America champions Chile, who failed to qualify for Russia 2018.

The source said the encounter had been fixed for Austria on June 9, despite reports the NFF was speaking to World Cup-bound Morocco.

However, it was learnt  that Nigeria manager Rohr is not comfortable with his team playing a warm-up game nine days to their  World Cup opener against Croatia.

Sources close to the NFF claimed that while the national football governing body is insistent on the encounter, Rohr is against it.

“The coach is against playing Chile when his World Cup squad would have been announced – and allowing them to play a match nine days before the match against Croatia,” an   NFF source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was  not authorised to speak about the issue publicly, told our correspondent.

“But the federation wants him to play the match because of its benefits.

“I’m not sure  the Eagles will play the game because  the federation would not  want to be seen as interfering in the  coach’s plans for the World Cup.”

The source added, “I think the coach is correct because the national team will play a game (against England in London)   on June 2 and another one  (against   Czech Republic in Austria) four days later.”

But spokesman for  the NFF Ademola Olajire denied any rift between the federation and Rohr over any friendly game.

The football chief, who said Chile were among the South American teams being considered for a friendly game against the Eagles, declined any further comments on the national team.