'Gernot would have qualified the team for the World Cup' - Ighalo criticises decision to sack Rohr

Odion Ighalo and ex-Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr.

SUPER EAGLES 'Gernot would have qualified the team for the World Cup' - Ighalo criticises decision to sack Rohr

Tunde Young 13:50 - 26.01.2023

Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo believes the Super Eagles would have qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup had Gernot Rohr not been fired.

Odion Ighalo believes Nigeria would have qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar had former manager Gernot Rohr not been fired before the last round of qualifiers.

The striker criticised the decision to fire Rohr as "wrong timing" and spoke in favour of the German tactician, claiming he would have qualified the team.

33-year-old Ighalo was part of the Super Eagles team that lost the 2022 World Cup qualifier to Ghana on away goals over two legs which saw the Black Stars head to Qatar while Nigeria missed out.

Odion Ighalo backs Gernot Rohr

Speaking to Nigerian journalist Oma Akatugba in an interview on the YouTube channel Oma Sports TV, Ighalo gave his candid opinion on the sacking of Gernot Rohr.

Odion Ighalo backs old Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr

"100% Gernot would have qualified the team," Ighalo responded emphatically to Oma's question on whether or not sacking Gernot Rohr was a disastrous decision.

The Saudi Arabia-based striker gave Rohr's track record as the reason for his statement, "before we qualified for the Russia World Cup we had two games to go right? But we already qualified for the World Cup."

"He would have qualified this team for the World Cup because we have more young and vibrating players, we would have qualified, it was a wrong timing, they would have just allowed him," Ighalo continued.

The Al Hilal striker continued to emphasise on the timing of the sack rather than the decision to fire Rohr, claiming that was what disrupted the preparation for the double-header against Ghana.

Ighalo plays for Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia

"Not when you’re preparing for the World Cup, they take the coach that has been there for how many years, that knows what is going on in the setting," Ighalo lamented.

Ighalo hinted that the Super Eagles have internal issues, "there is so many things that work inside that transfers to the pitch so if inside is not okay it will never be okay outside. If you like carry 10 Messi and 10 Ronaldo in the pitch, if you have problems internally, it will affect them outside, that’s how football works."

Gernot Rohr was fired on December 13, 2021, just before the Africa Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup qualifiers which Augustine Eguavoen led the Super Eagles but failed at both tasks and was subsequently replaced by Jose Peseiro.

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