Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has rated his team fifth best in their chances of winning this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, as he believes that Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal are ahead of Nigeria in terms of both current form and accumulated ratings.
Rohr stated as much when he reacted in contrast with the views of many Nigerian soccer lovers, over the country’s continued poor rating by world soccer governing body, FIFA in the monthly rankings, as he says the country’s low position on the log is accurate.
Although many fans would argue that qualifying early for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, with a match to spare, should have shot Nigeria above a couple of other African countries in the rankings, Rohr pointed out that the Eagles did not do well in not qualifying for the last two editions.
The Franco-German gaffer is of a view that the Eagles also did not do well in 2014 and 2015, then went on to miss out in the AFCON contests for 2015 and 2017, all of which noted culminated in giving Nigeria lowly status in the eyes of FIFA’s egg heads.
He added that Nigeria’s accumulated poor results over the past years, before his took the team on an unbeaten run in 2018, account for which the Eagles cannot be considered favourites to win this year’s AFCON in Egypt, as he again pointed out that they are currently fourth in Africa.
However, while the Eagles are behind Senegal, Tunisia and Morocco in that order for Africa’s current form table provided by FIFA, Rohr also pointed at Egypt as another team he believes is ahead of Nigeria on the permutation of countries that are most likely to win AFCON 2019.
Rohr included Egypt ostensibly because they are the new hosts of the championship that was initially meant to be hosted by Cameroon, who are now below Nigeria in the FIFA rankings, as the Lions are placed 56th.
Dramatically, Cameroon are one spot ahead of 57th placed Egypt, yet behind Ghana (52nd) and DR Congo (51st), while the Eagles currently lie at 46th globally in the last ratings by FIFA, yet Rohr feels uneasy about his team’s chances going to AFCON 2019.
Rohr posited: “When we look at the ranking of Africa and FIFA, we are not the first African country.
“There are other countries in front of us, I think we are fourth. There is Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt that may be favourite at home for the AFCON, there is also Senegal in front of us.
“The ranking is not just the latest results, but for a few years. In 2014, 2015, Nigeria was not great and did not qualify for the last two AFCON. It has somewhat handicapped its ranking at FIFA and Africa.”