2022 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
Despite what appears as a ‘soft’ Group C that Nigeria’s Super Eagles have found themselves in the second round qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Head Coach of the country’s senior national team, Gernot Rohr, has refused to join those celebrating the pairings.
Super Eagles were on Tuesday evening in Cairo, Egypt paired with Cape Verde, Central Africa Republic (CAR) and Liberia in Group C.
Fanatical football fans and players, including a former Captain of the Green Eagles, Segun Odegbami, described the group as an easy one for Nigeria. “Easy…Pepper Soup for Nigeria,” was how Odegbami, fondly called Mathematical, described the group.
However, Nigeria’s Franco-German gaffer, Rohr, insisted yesterday that there is nothing to celebrate as minnows no longer exists in African football.
Super Eagles’ manager, Gernot Rohr will not describe Group C of the African qualifying series for the 2022 World Cup as an easy one for his team.
Rohr chose to underplay the excitement in a tweet from the verified Super Eagles twitter handle.
He remarked: “We’ve 3 (three) tricky opponents in Group C. A few years ago, Cape Verde were Africa’s best FIFA ranked team, CAR have some good players in Europe and we played a friendly in Liberia recently that wasn’t easy…we’ve to be at our best against them.”
Super Eagles enforcer, Wilfred Ndidi also posted on his twitter handle Wilfred @Ndidi25 that there will be no room for complacency as Nigeria gun for her seventh appearance at the Mundial to hold in two years time in Qatar.
“This is the World Cup, no room for complacency. Every game must be taken seriously. Our first game is going to be the most important as well as all our home games, and even away games. We must make it to the 3rd round,” tweeted the Leicester City midfielder who has been sidelined by an injury he picked up playing for the Foxes.
Each of the 40 teams in the 10 groups will play two matches each towards the end of this year, with the remaining four matches coming up next year. The third and final round of the qualifiers will see the 10 winners of the pools drawn into five explosive home-and-away fixtures that will produce Africa’s flag-bearers in Qatar. Those knockout games come up in November 2021.
Interestingly, some of the heavyweights in African football are going to miss the global stage in Qatar. In Group D for instance, only one team between Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire will pick the ticket with Mozambique and Malawi the other runners in the group.
Similar scenario is also going to play out in Group G where Ghana who were quarter finalist at South Africa 2010 will battle the Banyana Banyana for the group’s sole ticket to the final stage of the qualifiers. Both Zimbabwe and Ethiopia are considered outsider in the race.