Rohr says Super Eagles don't 'pretend' injuries

Ogenyi Onazi Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

Gernot Rohr is exasperated by reports that his coaching staff would manufacture an injury to disguise the demotion of midfielder Ogenyi Onazi as vice-captain, in the wake of an alleged and debunked rift with captain John Mikel Obi.

The Nigeria coach testily dismissed both reports, and says the situation in his squad has not changed.

"Not true," he told KweséESPN his coaching staff had faked an injury to Onazi.

"That is wrong and bad information about the team.

"We never pretend an injury when we make our team."

Reports emerged in Nigerian media on Monday, which following the alleged disagreement with Mikel, Onazi had been demoted as vice- captain.

Rohr, meanwhile, insisted that it was not the case

"The truth is that we have several vice-captains, like Musa, Ekong, Balogun and Onazi. To be captain of the team, you have to be on the pitch which is not always the case for some of them, especially in friendlies where we have six substitutions in a match," Rohr continued.

"If Onazi starts a game in absence of Mikel, he is the captain. If not, that is naturally another one.

The spirit is excellent and we need to focus on the World Cup. Not lies."

Nigeria arrived at their Essentuki base camp in Russia on Monday night, and open their World Cup campaign on June 16 against Croatia, before taking on Iceland on June 22 and Argentina on June 26