Amaju Melvin Pinnick, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, has restated his backing for embattled head coach of the Super Eagles Gernot Rohr despite increasing calls for the immediate dismissal of the German.

Nigeria national team coach Gernot Rohr believes the Republic of Benin will be a hard nut to crack, given their recent performances.

The three-time African champions will square off against the Squirrels at Porto-Novo’s Stade Charles de Gaulle on Saturday.

Michel Dussuyer’s men are on a five-game unbeaten run, having last tasted defeat against the Super Eagles in their first Afcon qualifying game in November 2019

Their home form has also been spectacular, given they have not lost for eight years, having last tasted defeat against Algeria in 2013 and Rohr has warned his side to be battle-ready for the encounter.

“Benin have not lost a match for eight years at home, the last time they lost was in 2013 so you can imagine that we want to be the first team to win there in eight years,” Rohr told reporters.

“It will not be easy, they have a very good defence, they were quarter-finalists in the last Afcon. They eliminated Morocco.”

Rohr also revealed Benin have all the players needed for the game as the country provided a private plane for their stars based in France to ensure they honour the match.


The provision of a private plane has been part of the conditions given by the French government before players in the top two leagues can be allowed to leave for international duty.

The rule prevented Nantes forward Moses Simon from honouring the Super Eagles invitation and Genk forward Paul Onuachu was drafted in as his replacement.

“They have a private plane to help the French-based players, what we could not have, unfortunately,” he continued.

“They found the money to take a private plane and to bring them back by charter. This was the condition to get the French players.”

The Super Eagles will take on Lesotho in their final qualifying game on Tuesday at Teslim Balogun Stadium Lagos.

Nigeria lead Group L of the qualifiers table with eight points from four games and victory over Benin or Lesotho will seal their place at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations, scheduled for Cameroon.

The three-time African champions finished third at the last edition of the Afcon tournament in Egypt, behind winners Algeria and Senegal.

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