Gernot Rohr’s sack: Uncertainty as Nigeria search for new coach

Gernot Rohr

Gernot Rohr is gone.

The Franco-German is no longer the Super Eagles head coach, following a virtual meeting of the NFF Executive Committee on Sunday.

But it feels Rohr should have been gone since 2018 after Nigeria failed to qualify from their World Cup group. The team needed a draw against Argentina to progress. Somehow, they conceded a late goal and duly crashed out.

Another good time to have sacked him was after the 4-4 draw with Sierra Leone in November 2020. Rohr’s men threw away a four-goal lead, a result that NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, described as the worst under his tenure.

Yet, Pinnick didn’t act.

The Leone Stars also held the Super Eagles to a 0-0 draw in Freetown. It essentially meant the three-time African champions failed to win a single game throughout 2020.

However, the writing was on the wall, after Nigeria lost 2-1 to the Central African Republic (CAR) and drew with Cape Verde during their 2022 World Cup qualifying series.

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After the Cape Verde game at home, Rohr was advised to resign. He declined.

The last few weeks have seen the NFF in talks with the 68-year-old’s camp over the termination of his contract and negotiating his pay-off.

NFF Technical Director, Augustine Eguavoen, will now take charge of the team, as they prepare for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Eguavoen will work with Salisu Yusuf, Paul Aigbogun, Joseph Yobo, Dr. Terry Eguaoje, and Aloysius Agu.

However, the NFF has made it clear he is working with the team temporarily.

The big question then is: will the football house plump for a local coach like Emmanuel Amuneke or Sunday Oliseh? Or will inferiority complex force them to scout around for another incompetent white man?

This uncertainty does not help the Super Eagles. They have a major tournament to prepare for in a few weeks. There is also the matter of the World Cup play-offs in January.

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Since the NFF had finally taken the decision to fire Rohr, they should have had a replacement on standby. This is not club football, where you have a lot of matches to instill a playing style or redeem bad results.

Whatever happens in the coming weeks, analysts believe the first good decision has been made by sacking Rohr.


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By Kalu Odinakachi
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