The Super Eagles were earlier scheduled to face the Elephants on the ninth of October, but the Ivorians pulled out of the tie last week to the disappointment of Nigeria’s German tactician
Head coach Gernot Rohr has expressed his dissatisfaction that the planned international friendly between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire was cancelled, only to be replaced by another match against African champions Algeria.
The Elephants cited internal problems as the reason for abandoning the Nigerian friendly but then, days later, announced an engagement with Belgium scheduled for the same day.
The Nigeria Football Federation wasted little time completing arrangements with Algeria as the new opponent and will now face two North African giants (Tunisia, the other) in the second week of October.
Rohr, though, would have preferred his side face another black African football nation as the alternative to Cote d’Ivoire in preparation for the upcoming Afcon and World Cup qualifiers.
The Super Eagles occupy Group L of the African Cup of Nations qualifying stages with three other black nations, including Benin, Sierra Leone, and Lesotho.
At the same time, Nigeria have been drawn in the same group with Cape Verde, Central African Republic, and Liberia in the second round of Africa’s World Cup 2022 qualifiers.
Rohr regrets the Ivorians’ snub, but the former Gabon coach is pleased that the NFF could find a late, top-quality team to replace the Elephants.
“Of course, we have Algeria now, but I regretted that we are not going to play Cote d’Ivoire again because we had planned to play at least a game against a Black African team,” Rohr told The NationSports as per the Daily Post.
“But now we have to play against two Maghreb teams; unfortunately, we don’t have Maghreb teams, not for the AFCON qualifiers and not for the Qatar 2022 World Cup too.
“But it’s okay because it was very difficult (to get a replacement) in the last moments to replace the Ivory Coast team,” Rohr said.
Nigeria face Algeria and Tunisia on the 9th and 13th October, respectively, ahead of the Afcon qualifying doubleheader against Sierra Leone in November.