Lawmaker Proposes Law To Force Gernot Rohr To Select Home-Based Players For Super Eagles

Nigerian lawmaker Akin Alabi wants to propose a motion in the Federal House of Representatives mandating “the Nigeria Football Federation and the Super Eagles coach to include at least two Nigeria based players in every squad” the country takes to international football competitions.

The lawmaker representing the Egbeda/Ona Ara Federal Constituency in Oyo State took to Twitter to solicit opinions of Nigerian football fans to determine if the move would have popular backing.

The bill if passed will compel national team manager Gernot Rohr to include two players from the domestic leagues in his squads for international tournaments.

Rohr has preferred foreign-based players over their domestic counterparts in the course of his four years in charge of the Super Eagles.

Only Heartland goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa can be said to be a regular in the Franco-German’s squads and Rohr has regularly cited the state of the nations topflight and the players’ lack of rudimentary tactical understanding as reasons for frequently overlooking domestic players.

It is a stance that the Federation is looking to change and NFF president Amaju Pinnick has stated that any new contract for the former Gabon coach will hinge on his willingness to “domesticate” his activities amongst other conditions.

Rohr has four months left on his current contract and was reportedly offered a two-year extension last week.

The issue of including domestic players in Super Eagles squads for competitions continues to divide opinion among Nigerians and is one that has raged over many years.

Every national team manager has had to deal with clamour from Nigerian fans and journalists for the inclusion of domestic players in national team squads.

Former Super Eagles manager Stephen Keshi is greatly revered in the country for winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations with a squad that had featured several home-based players with many pointing to the exploits of Sunday Mba who scored winners in the semifinals and final as evidence that local players can perform at the highest levels.

Many Nigerians took to Twitter to react to the lawmaker’s proposal.

Some described the idea as a great move and needed panacea.

Others though opined that a better move would be improving the quality of the league and welfare packages for domestic players.

Many criticised the idea pointing out that move would amount to interference and an attempt to strongarm the coach and install a quota system in the national team

Some others felt the lawmaker ought to use his time in the House for more pressing issues of national concern