On August 9th, 2016, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced the appointment of Gernot Rohr as head coach of the Nigeria National Football team (Super Eagles) on an initial two year deal succeeding former coach Sunday Oliseh who had left the team earlier.
Prior to his appointment, former Head Coach of the Super Eagles were handed the responsibility of taking charge of the CHAN Eagles. Recall that late Stephen Keshi as the head coach of the National Team, qualified Nigeria to her first appearance of the Championship of Africa Nations (CHAN) in 2014 hosted by South Africa where he guided the team to a 3rd place finish.
Sunday Oliseh as head Coach of of Super Eagles also took charge of the CHAN Eagles where he led them to Rwanda for the second edition but couldn’t go past the second round.
In 2018, the status quo changed when Salisu Yusuf was handed with the responsibility of taking the Home Eagles to the Championship of Africa Nation tournament in Morocco despite Gernot Rohr being the National team coach.
With the Home-base Eagles set to play Mexico in an international friendly on the 3rd of July, both the National team coach Gernot Rohr and his Assistant Joseph Yobo are set to sit out as NFF Technical Director Agustine Eguaveon and former U-20 coach Paul Aigbogun will be taking charge of the match.
Pundits, Journalists and football lovers have all criticized Gernot Rohr and Joseph Yobo absent from the game, raising eyebrows on why Rohr has decided to stay away from any activity concerning the Home-base since his arrival.
However, the latest criticism is coming from the Minister for Youth and Sports Development Mr, Sunday Dare who in his quote calls the Coach not to discriminate between the home-based professionals and the foreign players.
“It is important that we just don’t assemble foreign based players and then use them. We want a technical person who will build a team not just assemble for the purpose of playing a game”, The Minister’s quote
“I just found out that he has travelled ahead, but I think it’s important that we’ll tell the NFF needs to call Gernot Rohr to order because we cannot have a technical coach who will discriminate among our players. They are football players and they have talents you cannot discriminate against”.
“His attitude towards Home based players is unacceptable, it is negative to our football development in this Country and I call on the NFF to call him to order, I call on the NFF to hold him by the content, by the letter of his contract, but beyond that he needs to shut up and do the work for which he was hired to do, he talks too much”.
“We have started the process now, We’ll make sure that the players here can measure their talents and skills, he must blend the home based players with foreign based players, we must return to the strength of our football development, in the past we’ve seen a mixture of five, six home based players hold our defence so tight and then you bring in foreign based players who do the damage up front; it has always worked for us. Since we departed from just assembling 99 percent of our players which is an easy ride for any technical adviser, we’ve struggled to score goals and we end up with draws without scoring goals”
Now drawing the distinct line, Gernot Rohr as far as this issue is concerned can’t be totally faulted because as he can’t take decisions without the consent of his employers.
The Minister, Journalist should call on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF ) for an explanation on Gernot Rohr’s continuous absent from any activity concerning the Home-based players.
NFF should also explain absent of the assistant coach Joseph Yobo from the team.
Relevant questions should be thrown to the right source. The NFF headed by Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick has a whole lot to tell football loving Nigerians-at least they have the right to know Rohr’s delineations.