More NPFL Stars Deserve To Be in Super Eagles — Ogunbote

By Daily Sports on May 22, 2020

Views: 292

Lobi Stars manager Gbenga Ogunbote has urged Gernot Rohr to introduce more NPFL players in the Super Eagles squad, saying they deserve equal treatment.

Rohr has been criticized in recent times for his reluctance to increase the number of home-based players in the national team, with Katsina United goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, the only consistent player in his team.  

The German tactician had previously defended his decision, stating the best of Nigerian players are in Europe but Ogunbote feels NPFL stars deserved a chance to prove their worth.

“If they say the league can’t produce top-class players for the national team, we have to first deal with the segregation,” Ogunbote told the PUNCH.

“That is very important because every coach knows what works for him. We have done it before, and we had results. What you need to do is to give them a room to express themselves, create room for doubt but make sure they get equal opportunities like the overseas-based players.

“We need to tackle the segregation. The moment a player leaves the country, he gets invited to the national team. Did he travel without playing in the league?

“He started from the league before going to Europe and we’re not talking about three or six months in the league. The thing is, we are underestimating the value of home-based players; give them consideration and then you can make your judgment.

“And more importantly, they deserve equal treatment and respect you give to overseas-based players.”

A number of home-based players were introduced into the national team under the late Stephen Keshi and went on to make a key impact for the African giants.

The likes of Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Ejike Uzoenyi, Reuben Gabriel and Sunday Mba were part of the Super Eagles squad that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa and made significant contributions in the tournament.

Rohr has been in charge of the national team since 2016, despite his reliance on foreign-based players, the three-time African champions could only manage to finish third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The German tactician is set to sign a new contract with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and it is believed, the deal contains a clause mandating the 66-year-old to include a certain number of home-based players in his team.

Ogunbote was a former Nigeria international and has turned to coaching since his retirement from professional football.

He enjoyed success with Sunshine Stars before joining Ibadan-based club Shooting Stars. He has also served as manager of Enyimba and Enugu Rangers before signing for Lobi Stars. (Goal)

•PHOTO: Lobi Stars manager Gbenga Ogunbote

Source Daily Sports

Posted May 22, 2020


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