Rohr Mulls Qatar 2022

GERMAN coach Gernot Rohr has reaffirmed his commitment to ensure Super Eagles qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar.

The continental soccer ruling body will on January 21 hold the draw of the Group Phase of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers at the Nile Ritz-Carlton hotel Cairo where the identities of the Super Eagles opponents will be known.

“We are waiting for the draw now,” the 67-year-old Rohr told NationSport from France last night. “I was not invited for the draw (in Cairo).”

Rohr who qualified the Super Eagles for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup with relative ease despite Nigeria being housed with Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia, is hopeful for an encore in Qatar.

“I hope to be on the final World Cup draw in Qatar in two years (time) because we want to qualify for Qatar 2022,” affirmed the former Bayern Munich defender.

Yet to iron out his new contract with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Rohr is already looking forward to a successful 2020 as he reiterated his commitment to the Super Eagles.

“My wish is that our young team can bring pride and joy to Nigerians; progressing is coming with hard work,” he said.

Indeed, the Super Eagles’ route to Qatar 2022 will be well cut out with the new qualification arrangement to be adopted by CAF.

CAF has reverted to the format used for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification competition after an initial proposal to merge the qualification rounds for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations with those for the World Cup was turned down at its meeting in June 2018.

The Eagles were subsequently drawn bye into the second round that will see the top 26 ranked CAF teams joined by the 14 winners from the first round for the eagerly awaited second round draw penultimate Tuesday.

The 40 teams will be drawn into 10 groups of four teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches with the winners of each group advancing to the third round-where the second round group winners will play home-and-away over two legs. The five winners qualify for the World Cup.

“The qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be very tricky and we must ensure that we win our matches in order to avoid unnecessary issues because all the top teams would in the end be pooled into one single group,” NFF President Amaju Pinnick hinted last month.

“No doubt, we have a very good team but all hands must be on deck; and we must ensure professionalism in all departments from administrative to technical,” Rohr added.

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