Rohr’s New Contract: How NFF Threw Cuper, Redknapp, Amunike Out Of The Equation
By Adewale Ajayi
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr must be thanking his God after the NFF president Amaju Pinnick announced through his official twitter account that the Nigeria football federation and the former FC Nantes tactician have concluded all contractual discussions, meaning, the former Burkina Faso and Niger chief coach will continue to be in charge of the Nigeria National football team until after the 2022 World cup in Qatar.
The new deal gives Rohr an opportunity to right his many wrongs after three years of failures at the helms of affairs.
Rohr who once claimed he is ready to coach Nigeria for free, has now agreed to put pen on paper after his initial contract expired.
This much, NFF president Amaju Pinnick confirmed on Wednesday on his official twitter account.
The Franco/German who guided Nigeria to a first round exit at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and a bronze medal at the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt will now have to work under more stringent conditions as the NFF has added some difficult clauses to his contract to make him more committed and dedicated to his job.
A source in the Nigeria football federation said these measures become necessary in order to checkmate the excesses of Gernot Rohr and make sure he offers his 100% commitment to the job.
The NFF was however not too sure that Rohr will concede to these conditions by accepting the terms of the new contract and had lined up a few names in agreement with the sports ministry should he (Rohr) turn down the contract.
As at Tuesday May 26, the NFF was yet to announce that Rohr has signed an extension to his contract, instead, the former Gabon National team coach has been the one doing all the talking on the pages of newspapers.
NFF president Amaju Pinnick however took to twitter on Wednesday May 27, to announce the deal, putting to rest all the speculations regarding a possible change of guard.
An impeccable source with deep contacts in the glass house and the sports Ministry, exclusively told this reporter that 6 names were lined up as possible replacements for Gernot Rohr, with the hope that he will fail to meet the deadline given him to send in his acceptance papers or may refuse the contract offered him because of the fresh conditions included.
Top on the list was Argentine born, former Valencia chief coach Hector Cuper. Cuper is highly rated by both the NFF and sports ministry because of his very rich coaching profile which includes stincts at Mallorca, Real Betis and AS Parma.
He also coached the Egyptian National team between 2015 and 2018 before leaving the Pharaohs to pitch tents with the Uzbekistan National team.
Former Jordan National team coach Harry Redknapp is the next big name on the list.
The 73 year old former Tottenham, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and West Ham coach was said to be a favoured candidate for the job and was the one on every Nigerian journalist lips as a possible replacement for Rohr.
Former Flying Eagles head coach Emmanuel Amunike who had a brief stint with Samson Siasia as Super Eagles assistant coach, in the build-up to a two legged Nations cup qualifier with Egypt, in 2016 is the only Nigerian considered good for the plum job.
The former coach of Al Khartoum of Sudan, later become chief coach of the Tanzania National team, a side he led to qualify for the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt. He has since joined Egyptian premier league side, El Makkasa after his contract with Tanzania was terminated following a dismal performance at the Nations cup.
These three were leading candidates for the plum job until Wednesday, when Rohr’s appointment was officially confirmed by the NFF, putting to rest all speculations