Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr, is worried that most of his players may not arrive in the country on time for Nigeria’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Sierra Leone due to their inability to get flights out of Europe.
Some European countries have imposed a new lockdown due to a spike in the spread of COVID-19. Super Eagles players and officials are expected to arrive in Benin, venue of the game against Sierra Leone, today and start training for the game tomorrow.
The match will hold on Friday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin. Speaking on the difficulties being encountered by his players, Rohr praised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for its efforts to get the players into the country, saying the team need enough time to train for the game.
“It will be difficult to see all the 23 players arrive in Benin early for the AFCON qualifier. Some of the players are playing on Sunday (yesterday) and most of them will depart their base on Monday.
“They will arrive in Lagos or Abuja on Tuesday and find their way to Benin. With this, the Eagles technical crew will be having just Wednesday and Thursday to train the players ahead of the AFCON qualifier,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer, Edo State Command, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, told The Guardian, yesterday, that the force is 100 ready to ensure the safety of life and property of players, as well as visitors and Edo residents before, during and after the game against Sierra Leone.
He added: “Security vehicles have started going round the city 24 hours to see that everybody is safe in Benin City.
“We are assuring everybody that the AFCON game will be peaceful. Every police formation in the state is on alert for the game. The security issues that emanated after the EndSars protest have been well handled.
“Public protection is our main goal; we will not have issues curtaining the surge during Super Eagles training and matches.
“Edo State is observing COVID -19 protocols and has imposed curfew in the state; so, I believe the police will not face challenges of crowd control during the game.”