With less than 24 hours to the second round knockout encounter between Nigeria and Cameroon, the Super Eagles’ Head Coach Gernot Rohr, has barred his players from all forms of activities that could distract the team from underperforming during the match tomorrow.
The action which took effect from yesterday will most likely affect the large delegation of Federal Government entourage that will arrive Cairo today before heading to Alexandria for the epic clash tomorrow.
On Wednesday night, the coach allowed his wards free reign to interact with the media, friends and relatives around at their hotel base lobby.
However, beginning from yesterday morning, the rhythm changed as the players were confined to regimented life style until after tomorrow’s match.
But when the high-powered delegation from The Presidency that will include Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the governors of Lagos, Delta and political aides storm the coastal city of Alexandria before the match, there will be practically nobody to welcome them into the team’s camp except the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick and his board members who THISDAY learnt will be more diplomatic in handling the matter.
Pinnick is likely to prevail on the government delegation to see reason with the Franco-German tactician’s decision as his job could be on the line should the team fail to beat Cameroon and proceed to the quarter final.
“Gernot Rohr wanted outright concentration and will not want anything to disrupt the calmness of his players and the tranquility of the environment.
“He wants Eagles to be more focused than before for the match against Cameroon on Saturday,” a top official hinted THISDAY in Alexandria yesterday evening.
The coach had insisted that the players must be in their rooms for their afternoon siesta which was between 2-4pm and no loitering, no visitors nor telephone activities are expected from the players until after the match on Saturday.
The media had its own dose of the camp ethos last night as they were barred from the training arena as the team trained behind closed door for tactical reasons. Before now, the media were allowed to see the first 15 minutes before the cameras are shut down.