Moses Retirement Good Omen for Young Players, Says Ibitoye


The controversy that trailed the announcement by Super Eagles’ striker, Victor Moses of his retirement from international football is still generating heat among stakeholders despite the fact that his announcement to quit international football has been made more than two weeks ago.

However, while some are calling for his return to the squad some others are of the view that Moses should not be begged to play for the country since nobody forced him out of the national team but announced his retirement from Eagles out of his own volition.

One person who believes that the Chelsea wingback should not be bothered to return to the Eagles is the team’s spokesman, otherwise referred to as the Media Officer of the team, Toyin Ibitoye.

Ibitoye believes the retirement of Moses will create room for young players to stake claim to the national team duties and contribute to the development and progress of the team and as a result; it is a blessing in disguise.

He, however, acknowledged the fact that Moses is one of the best players that Eagles can boast of as he is playing at the top level but remains optimistic that there will be a replacement for him going forward.

It is recalled that Moses had announced about two weeks ago that he has decided to call it quit with the national team to enable him concentrate on his club career and at the same time attend to his young family as the combination of the two has been taking heavy toll on him.

“There will be no Victor Moses and there will be no Mikel Obi. Yaah! Already that is right. Moses announced his retirement from international football and Mikel has asked to be excused so that he can regain his fitness. So, those two players will not be there but Coach Gernot Rohr has named 24 players on Friday and a few players are on standby.

“However, despite the absence of Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel, some of those who were at the World Cup are in for this game. You know it is a crucial game, we are still in the group, we are third in the group and the top two teams are the ones that will qualify. So it a must win game for us we must mop up the strongest squad possible for us to be able to get that result.

“We hope that there will be no injuries to the players that Gernot Rohr announced for the on Friday for the September 7 game,” Ibitoye said.

Speaking further, the Eagles spokesman disclosed that Moses spoke with the Eagles’ manager before going public about his decision to quit international football.

“Of course Victor Moses spoke with Gernot Rohr before announcing his retirement from international football. He was in touch with Rohr and top officials, the team secretary and a few other persons. The coach knows that Victor Moses is a good player, one of our very best, playing at a very high level and appealed to him to have a rethink but we respect his decision.

“I would understand his fears. There is a new manager at Chelsea and probably a change of style that will affect him. And so he believes that he needs to be more focus on his club career so that he can get the kind of wing use he got in the last two years under Antonio Conte that helped him picked an improved contract at Chelsea.

“So, we really understand that. However, nothing is cast in stone, if he decides; we have seen players who have gone on retirement before and they made a return. If he decides to make a return he will be welcomed with open arms but we have to respect his decision.

“As Gernot Rohr told me when we had discussion about this issue, may be it is an opportunity for some other young players to step up and show that they can also be relevant and be a key members of the Super Eagles of Nigeria. So, soldier go soldier come as they say, but barracks will remains.

“We hope that his action will throw up something for us to make us stronger and make and us more competitive going forward,” Ibitoye explained.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles’ gaffer, Gernot Rohr has urged Victor Moses to reconsider his early retirement from the national team ahead of the 2019 African Cup of Nations.

The Franco-German football tactician is hoping that the AFCON 2019 that will hold in Cameroon will be a motivation for the Chelsea man to stage a comeback.

“We spoke already and I hope that his decision is not definitive. I think it depends on his motivation. If he really wants to commit himself again, he is welcome. Maybe the chance to win the AFCON is motivation. We will see.”

Moses contributed a lot to the Super Eagles third win of the AFCON 2013 in South Africa and he appeared in two World Cups for Nigeria in 2014 and 2018.

He played 37 times and scored 12 goals for the Super Eagles. Rohr is expected today to release his squad for the AFCON 2019 qualification match against Seychelles on September 8 The team camp will open on September 1 in Abuja from where they fly out to the Indian Ocean Island nation

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