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Sports Ministry Wades into Rohr’s Saga

The Nigeria Football Federation found themselves in a quandary concerning Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr.

The German is on a salary of $49,000 monthly and is being owed several months in arrears.

The current deal signed to end in December 2022 is difficult to terminate. And the truth is that Rohr has been meeting the conditions. The difficult one for him would be winning the AFCON, as according to him, there are no good enough players compared to other top African countries.

He was also to qualify for the world cup.

However, Nigerian soccer lovers have been crying foul over the style of play of the Super Eagles. Rohr prefers functionality over aesthetics. But Nigerians want winning with flair that what witnessed under Clemence Westerhoff and Jo Bonfrere.

The 2022 World Cup qualifiers exposed the Super Eagles. They struggled to qualify from a group that had Cape Verde, Liberia and Central African Republic. For the first time in 40 years, Nigeria lost at home to lowly CAR and drew the last match against Cape Verde.

Unconfirmed report had it that the NFF wanted to arm twist Rohr to resign and resorted to subtle threat. This was after the outcry that included Nigerian big wigs about Super Eagles’ uninspiring displays.

Meanwhile the Nigerian Ministry of Sports and Youth Development has waded into the crisis.

Minister Sunday Dare has asked for a full report on Rohr by the NFF and the proposed sack and payoff.

Added to this, the Sports Ministry is looking at the possibility of paying the salaries of our National team coaches henceforth.

The honourable minister of youth and sports, Sunday Dare will make a proposal to government once a new coach is employed and agreement will be reached on how government can offset the salaries of the new coach.

The ministry insist that the National team belongs to Nigeria and not any one individual and that henceforth, they want to be fully involved in matters that concerns the welfare and wellbeing of our expatriate coach.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development Alhaji Ismail Abubakar has directed the NFF to submit the Technical Report of the last phase of the 2021 World Cup qualifiers to the Ministry.

“The report must be on the table of the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development on Monday, the 22nd of November, 2021,” the PS said in a statement.

The Super Eagles have qualified for the playoff phase of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Africa but the performance of the team has left a lot to be desired.

A top Sports Ministry source said, “The NFF knows that any plan to hire another coach must start with first briefing the Minister /FG about the Rohr issue and bringing a closure to it to avoid embarrassing Nigeria.

“Secondly. The decision to hire any body as national coach must be discussed and undergo review.

“The Super Eagles is Nigeria’s property not a premier club.”

In the meantime, Serbian  Mladen Krstajic  has been lined up to replace Rohr.

In a chat with The PUNCH on Sunday, a top official of the federation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent Krstajić was among the coaches the NFF was considering, adding that they had not taken a final decision, since Rohr had not been sacked.

“We haven’t taken an official decision yet, but Serbian Malden Krstajić is one of the coaches we are considering for the job,” the source said.

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