The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has revealed that it has not thought of sacking Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr contrary to reports that the Franco/German might be sent packing following the team’s 1-2 defeat by Algeria in the semifinal of the on-going African Cup of Nations.
Shortly after the match, which took place at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday night, news filtered out from the team’s camp that NFF had concluded plans to relieve Rohr of his appointment as head coach of the Super Eagles. But NFF President, Amaju Pinnick dismissed such claims yesterday, describing it as a baseless and mere wish of some individuals, who don’t want Nigerian football to progress.
“We don’t have such plans to sack Rohr, Pinnick told The Guardian in a telephone chat yesterday. “Anybody saying so does not have the support of the NFF.”
There were insinuations here that a decision to sack Rohr was reached immediately after the Super Eagles were eliminated by Algeria in the semifinal match on Sunday. The NFF was said to have expressed disappointment with Rohr’s substitutions, which many have claimed killed the rhythm of the team and rendered the Eagles ineffective after Villarreal FC striker, Samuel Chukwueze was removed for Henry Onyekuru.
Another reason why the NFF was angry with Rohr, according to an online report, was a Facebook post that got to the attention of the NFF on the eve of the match with Algeria, where a lady believed to have very close ties with Rohr, posted pictures of their emerging romance and went on to appeal to the NFF to pay her hubby his outstanding four months salary. The report stated that the NFF has cleared Rohr’s outstanding salary till June 2019.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the Super Eagles that he would host them at the end of the AFCON.
Senate president, Ahmed Lawal led an 11-man delegation to Cairo on Sunday to cheer the Super Eagles against the Algerians. They arrived in Cairo a few hours to the kick-off of the match.
The Guardian learned that at the end of the tie, which saw the Eagles losing 1-2 to the Desert Foxes, Lawal met with the players and their officials inside the dressing room, where he assured them of President Buhari’s continuous support for the team.
Lawal told the players to forget the defeat to Algeria and focus on the third-place match against Tunisia tomorrow.
The Senate president also told the players that the Presidency would host them, no matter the outcome of the bronze medal match against Tunisia.
Meanwhile, some Nigerian fans have tagged the 11-man Presidential delegation as the ‘bad luck’ to the Super Eagles.
Before the delegation left Nigeria for Cairo, former Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung issued a statement saying that they were bringing good luck to the team in the semifinal against Algeria.
“Where is the good luck Dalung promised? one member of the Nigerian supporters club asked. The government of Algeria provided eight planes to convey thousands of fans to Cairo to cheer their team, and they got the result. Our government only wasted money flying top party members to the match venue. Of what significance is their coming to Egypt?” he fumed.