Gernot Rohr: To declare Nigeria as AFCON favourite is stupid

Coach Gernot Rohr has said the Super Eagles played to beat South Africa today but at the same time they did not want to take too many risks.

Gernot Rohr has dismissed Herve Renard’s claim that Nigeria are one of the favourite teams to lift the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations title.

In an interview with Caf, Renard had claimed hosts Egypt – with Africa Player of the Year Mohamed Salah and the home crowd – are leading favourite, with defending champion Cameroon, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria also in the running for glory at the biennial event.

The Frenchman, a two-time winner with Zambia (2012) and Cote d’Ivoire (2015), currently coaches the highest ranked team on the continent, Morocco but stated that he would rather not boast of their chances.

Rohr, however, labelled him a ‘diplomat’ and would rather not be drawn into analysing his ‘young’ team’s prospects.

“I know my friend Herve Renard is a diplomat. His team are favorite to win the tournament because they are number one in Africa so he’s the natural favorite, but he tries to put other countries ahead. This is a tactic already so I say, Morocco is number 1 in Africa and they are favorites,” Rohr told media.

“Egypt with one of the biggest players in the world are favourites as well. They are also playing at home. Senegal and Tunisia and second and third. We (Nigeria) are No.4 and we have a chance though, but please let them speak while we stay humble.

“To declare that we will win the Afcon is stupid. We have to work, we have young players.”

Nigeria have qualified for the 2019 Afcon already as, regardless of results in the final round of the qualifiers, they finished as Group E leaders.

On Friday, they play Seychelles in the ultimate match, with a friendly against Egypt next Tuesday capping off their March schedule.

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