Former Coach – Why Akpeyi Lost Nr. 1 Spot

David Kappel
January 11, 2022

Former Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has explained why Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi lost his Nr.1 spot with the Super Eagles.

The German, who got sacked in December despite qualifying for all tournaments he’s even been competed for, was Nigeria’s longest-serving manager.

Chiefs keeper Akpeyi featured for Nigeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations under Rohr but has since only made two appearances for the Super Eagles.

“He never lost his place in the national team as one of our three goalkeepers,” Rohr told iDiski Times in an exclusive interview.

“He lost the Nr. 1 because he had some injuries and was ill at times, giving the others a chance to play and play well.

“Francis Uzoho also came back, who was the youngest goalkeeper at the 2018 World Cup with 18 years. 

“Maduka (Okoye) also played a great season at Sparta Rotterdam, which saw him take the Nr. 1 shirt.”

Rohr, though, insisted that Akpeyi has always been a model athlete in the Nigeria squad and has somewhat worked as a link between the technical team and the players.

“He is an absolute professional, he’s also always been professional in training,” he added.

“He’s played an important role in our team, as one of the most experienced players, who has experienced a lot in over 10 years. 

“His mentality was always positive. He also supported the coaching team through his communication around the team.

“Whether in training, in the game, on the pitch or on the bench, Akpeyi was always very professional. 

“I respected that about him.” 

Nigeria take on Egypt in their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations opener at 18:00 on Tuesday, with Maduko Okoye starting in goal for the Super Eagles.

Story by David Kappel (@kappilinho).

PS. You can stream all AFCON games live at our partners from World Sports Betting for free (data costs apply). Check our!

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