Rohr, NFF War Thickens


Gernot Rohr says that Nigerian Football Federation President Amaju Pinnick was incorrect in pointing at team discipline and poor management as the reasons the German tactician was sacked as Super Eagles head coach.

The NFF had last Sunday announced that it had terminated the contract of Rohr, which was to expire in December 2022.

The football body’s boss Pinnick then granted an interview to Channels TV, in quotes relayed by the Cable, where he hinted that the move was necessary as the Super Eagles were a step away from a disaster.

He said: “We did everything for one major factor — that discipline in the team has practically been lost in the dressing room. Discipline in the team was at its lowest, and once you remove discipline, that foundation on the team will be lost.

“Players will now turn back at you. Players will believe they are indispensable. A lot of factors that will now militate against the team.”

But Rohr is not impressed by Pinnick’s statement, with the former Girondins Bordeaux manager maintaining that he had the total support of Super Eagles players and coaching crew.

The 68-year-old pointed to players sending him heart-warming messages after his dismissal as a signal that they appreciated his work. Sparta Rotterdam goalkeeper Maduka Okoye and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen are among the Eagles stars to have penned ‘Thank you’ messages to Rohr.

Rohr also opined that the NFF hiring Augustine Eguavoen as Technical Director a year ago to oversee his work indicated that his sack was premeditated.

In an interview with ESPN’s Colin Udoh, Rohr reacted to the Super Eagles being a disaster about to happen. “This is ridiculous. Everybody knows it. The dressing room was always with me,” the former Gabon chief coach said. “All the players are writing to me and thanking me for my professionalism, for my independent work, for my presence.

“The dressing room was 100% behind me. And I hope it will also be 100% behind the new coach. “I think they already had this prepared. They brought the new coach [Eguavoen] one year ago, so he could have a look. He would ask for the technical reports because he was Technical Director and Paul [Aigbogun], his assistant, was doing for me the work of scouting the opponents.

“But I wish them all the best because I want my players to succeed, to win the AFCON. I want Nigeria to go to the World Cup, and I’m sure that they will.”

Still, Rohr holds no ill-feeling towards Pinnick. Instead, the ex-Burkina Faso coach is full of appreciation to the football administrator for giving him the chance to handle the country’s national team.

“So, five wonderful years and four months, and I thank [NFF president] Amaju Pinnick, who gave me the chance to work in this country.

“I will forget the end. What happened this last one year was not easy, but now I hope that everybody will be correct and can live like friends,” Rohr added.