Ex international Ifeanyi Udeze has urged Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr to include more players from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in his Super Eagles plans for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Udeze, who was a member of the Super Eagles side that featured at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea/Japan, faulted Rohr’s decision to include just one home-based player in the two matches the team have played so far in the qualifiers
He said that the German tactician should give players from the local league more chance in the Super Eagles squad.
The former PAOK Thessaloniki defender told Brila Fm that he was a product of the Nigerian League, but Rohr has not done enough to give the NPFL players the chance to express their talents in the Super Eagles.
“Inviting three players from the NPFL to prosecute international matches to me is not too much for the coach to do. It will compel NPFL players to work harder to raise their game having in mind that they will be invited to the national team.”
“Playing among big players and top teams in the world will also help the home-based players confidence.
“Inviting 23 foreign-based players with just one goalkeeper from the domestic scene does not reflect the world that Nigeria football is developing.”
Recall that last month, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick said in an interview on Channels Television that Rohr’s contract will only be renewed if he gives local league players more playing time in the senior national team.
Udeze, who also featured for Nigeria at the 2002 and 2004 AFCON backed Pinnick on the issue, urging Rohr to start going round Nigeria to watch the league and pick the best players.
He also appealed to the home-based players to improve the standard of their football to get positive attention from the Super Eagles technical adviser.
Udeze added: “The same approach of touring Europe to get players for the Super Eagles should also be re-enacted in Nigeria when he is reappointed to lead the Eagles.
“I understand that the NPFL players’ welfare is not as attractive as their foreign-based counterparts, but they should strive more to be in top form to attract invitation to Super Eagles.
“During my days in the Nigeria league, every week, quality players were discovered in the league based on the passion we had for the game.
“The current players should work hard to improve on their game so that they will not disappoint some of us clamouring for their inclusion to the national team, he added.
Udeze was capped 32 times by Nigeria. His last appearance came in a 2006 World Cup qualifier against Angola in 2005.