The Guardian (Nigeria)
Akpeyi cautions Nigerians against attacking Rohr
SEagles Goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi has lashed out at football fans calling for Coach Gernot Rohr’s sack, saying those criticising the Franco-german don’t mean well for the nation’s football.
Akpeyi was on duty for Nigeria in five out of the seven matches the Eagles played at the just concluded Egypt 2019 African Cup of Nations, where the Super Eagles picked a bronze medal.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Akpeyi said it was disturbing that some Nigerians would call for the head of Gernot Rohr despite his good records with the Eagles since he assumed duty in 2017.
He asked: “Calling for Rohr’s sack, who do you think will be the messiah that other groups will not also call for his sack? Even those who have won trophies for Nigeria at a point
had some other groups calling for their sack. Nobody will be good enough for Nigeria until we come together and stand for one interest.”
On the state of the national team, Akpeyi said, “Generally every sector in Nigeria is a race for personal interest and when you win, enjoy it for the time until another party reinforces and comes back for a fight… your records don’t count for many Nigerians.”
“Some right thinking Nigerians also feel that Rohr deserves praises and not attack going by his records since 2017,” he added.
The Super Eagles won the African Cup of Nations in 2013 in South Africa, but failed to defend the title two years later in 2015. The team could not also make it to Gabon 2017 when Coach Samson Siasia could not lead the Super Eagles past the Pharaohs of Egypt in Kaduna.
Rohr took over and was able to stabilise the team, qualified Nigeria for the Russia 2018 World Cup even with a game in hand. The Super Eagles also qualified for the 2019 AFCON with a game in hand. And in Egypt, the team booked a ticket to the round of 16 with a game in hand. They defeated some big teams, including defending champions, Lions of Cameroun and Bafana Bafana of South Africa on their way to the semifinals.
For Akpeyi, the call for Rohr’s sack is the work of people who want to take the nation’s football to the era when everybody became statisticians during qualifiers for major competitions.
“They should leave Rohr alone to focus on the good work he has started. The host country Egypt and Cameroun couldn’t make it from the round of 16 and heaven did not fall,” he started.