Rohr’s New Super Eagles Contract: NFF’s Dilemma And Gloomy Days Ahead

Rohr’s New Super Eagles Contract: NFF’s Dilemma And Gloomy Days Ahead

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By Amaechi Agbo

On June 30th, the contract of Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr will expire and the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, investigation has shown, is in a hurry to get the German’s new contract renewed, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.

Gernot Rohr first signed a two year contract with the NFF to handle the team in 2016. Following his qualification of the team to 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and Egypt 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, the contract was automatically extended for additional two years from 2018 to 2020

The earlier contract in 2016 mandated Rohr to qualify the team to the two tournaments a feat that would warrant additional two years contract by default.

However, with the contract set to expire in less than three months, NFF we understand is in dilemma over whether to retain him or high a new coach.

NFF’ condition is made worst in view of the ravaging coronavirus which has led to the disruption, suspension and postponement of sporting activities continentally and globally.  

Rohr confirmed Monday (April 20th, 2020) that he had received the contract proposal and that his lawyers are studying it.

“I have just received an extension proposal, my contract ends on June 30. We are discussing about my future, I will look into it,” Rohr said.

Despite the NFF inserting what has been describes as ‘stringent clauses’ in the proposed new contract deal ostensibly aimed at “scarring Rohr away from signing the new contract”, the German tactician said he would love to lead Nigeria to the next African Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year and FIFA World Cup in Qatar, 2022

However, Bestchoicesports.com.ng understands that recent events have played NFF into the awaiting hands of Rohr and the German is not read to let the opportunity slip off his hand.

Many Nigerians have called for the sacking of the coach as result of unconvincing performances the team has churned out in the past four years of Rohr’s tutelage.

Rohr qualified the Super Eagles to the 2018 FIFA World Cup from a ‘group of death’ that had past AFCON winners, Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria in Same group without losing a match, though. He followed it suit by picking a ticket to the 2019 AFCON tournament held in Egypt.

However, the group stage elimination of the Eagles from Russia World Cup and 3rd place finish in Egypt were considered by many football analyst as failure.  

Football stakeholders believe that in view of the abundant talents in the Super Eagles line up currently, winning the AFCON 2019 was a plausible target were Rohr technically sound to read matches at critical times.

A top NFF official gave insight on how NFF’s dilemma was compounded by recent situations particularly the dreaded coronavirus, also called COVID-19

I was talking to one of the NFF big shots two days ago. In all sincerity, he made some good points.

Super Eagles won broze at the 2019 AFCON

He said they have considered other options like hiring an ex international or looking for a cheaper expatriate coach but that they have their fears. He said after the corona virus pandemic these two scenarios will surface

The official who spoke to Adewale Ajaji anonymously, gave two reasons NFF could not let Rohr go at this point.

According to the source “CAF may want to rush the qualifiers (AFCON 2021), meaning all the games will be completed before September and that will mean, we will have to pick vital points on the road. How many Nigerian coaches can guarantee results under pressure? The NFF will not want to experiment at this point.

“It is not one risk we will want to take because once we fail the same journalists go come after us, demanding for our already shaved heads”. This was his defence,’ Wale reported

“He said, ‘Wale have you forgotten what happened when we failed to qualify a few years ago? We were flying so high, confident of finishing second at worst. Then, suddenly Togo withdrew from the qualifiers because of cash crunch, and then CAF decided that just one team will qualifier from our group. At that point, we were left stranded. Everything came tumbling down on us. There was absolutely nothing we could do and the whole blame fell on us. We don’t want to make such mistakes again.

‘Like you know, there will be serious economy crunch occasioned by the pandemic. Many countries will pull out of the qualifiers especially those that have already lost hope. We may be caught in that web again and will start struggling. We don’t want to go thru (through) that again and that is why we want Rohr to complete the work he has started’”.

Mr Ajaji, nevertheless offered NFF a piece of advice saying “Rohr will qualify even SWAN (Sports Writers Association of Nigeria) selected for any major competition but when it comes to the event proper he will leave his thinking cap behind.

“Give him an open contract, watch him qualify for the Nations cup and sack him after the qualifiers. If we make the mistake of allowing him to lead Nigeria to Cameroon for the Cup of Nations, then forget it, we will get another golden bronze.”

Gloomy Days Ahead

Former Chairman of NFF Technical Committee, Barrister Chris Green has warned that NFF will face a gloomy future after the COVID-19 era which will not only disrupt its activities but may bring it to its knees economically if drastic and painful decisions are not taken now to avert the danger ahead.

Barrister Green who is the Chairman, Rivers State Football Association, RSFA said that the NFF will face challenging situation post COVID-19 and will struggle to pay Rohr his $55, 000 monthly salary due to global recession that will affect Nigeria economy most.

According to Bar Green, “Oil price has crashed to an all-time low. I hope my guys at the NFF have put up their thinking caps. I knew this would happen and I forewarned us. Can they afford to pay a coach $55.000 a month under this circumstances? It’s going to be very precarious.

Super Eagles promised to win 2018 World Cup during a farewell party with President Buhari

“I’m feeling for them right now. The signs are ominous that we are going to face hard times economic-wise. Let God give them the wisdom and courage to take the right decisions for the good of our game.

“For the players, yes they will agree to a pay cut. But will they agree to a ridiculous cut which is what we may face?

“Many don’t seem to know the horror that lies ahead of us. I have advised and I have warned. Pinnick and Co should from now take this thing as their personal enterprise. No entrepreneur would want to fail. They calculate the economy and market and plan properly.

“Nigeria has gone into recession, the world has gone into recession. There’s glut in oil prices which is Nigeria’s mainstay of revenue. It will take a minimum of 2 years for Nigeria to get out of recession. It will affect every facet of our life.

“NFF will not only pay Rohr, they will pay all their staffs, Assistants, all the players, coaches of the other teams, prepare the teams, play qualifiers and tournaments. This has already affected their annual budget.

“Money from the federal government will dwindle. Sponsors will not be able to meet up their obligations. State governments will not have spare funds to keep our teams, it will also affect our clubs, our league matches will never get on TV talk-less of Next TV. We need to think outside the box. We need to take painful decisions. I see us shelving Beach soccer, U-12, U-15 and some women football.

“Government is still owing the NFF backlog of funds which they may not be able to offset. NFF and the LMC are owing a lot here and there waiting for bailout. It’s the reality of our time. This calls for careful planning. God help us. I don’t envy those of them in NFF now. It’s huge, it’s massive,” he said in online chat Tuesday

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