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Page last updated at 19:18 GMT, Thursday, 31 March 2011 20:18 UK

Gabon coach wants Nations Cup stadiums ready

Gabon football coach Gernot Rohr
Gernot Rohr has been coach of Gabon for the last year

Gabon coach Gernot Rohr says he hopes to be able to play a home international in "August or September".

The coach of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations co-hosts is being forced to prepare the team outside Gabon because of a lack of venues.

They have travelled across Africa and beyond but are unable to play at home until the stadiums are completed.

"It's a lot of trips and we never meet our public - we don't have contact with the country", Rohr told the BBC.

Despite the challenges, Rohr thinks his charges are preparing well for the forthcoming tournament, which kicks-off in January.

"We have had good preparation up to now - we have played some interesting games," the coach said, citing victories over Togo and Algeria and a hard fought defeat at the hands of Senegal.

The coach praised the support the team is getting from the Gabonese football authorities and said the stadium issue was his only concern.

"The only problem is that the stadiums are not ready and I would like to have some games in the stadium where we [will play] the competition," Rohr said.

The coach revealed that he has been scouring the smaller leagues of Europe for players who might qualify for the national team - either directly or through their parents.

"We don't have so many players because we are only 1.5 million people in Gabon," he said.

Rohr's personal goal is to reach at least the semi-finals of the tournament, which Gabon will share with Equatorial Guinea next year.

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see also
Gabon President confident on 2012
22 Mar 11 |  African
Caf releases Nations Cup dates
25 Feb 11 |  African
Eq Guinea set Nations Cup target
12 Feb 11 |  African
Gabon's Ondo seals Stabaek move
20 Jan 11 |  African
Gabon name Rohr as new coach
27 Feb 10 |  African

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