By Jacob Ajom
The fate of Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has been sealed. A top official of the Nigeria Football Federation told Sports Vanguard Friday that the football house was ready to pull the strings and see to the termination of Rohr’s contract.
“Rohr is gone,” our source continued, adding, “the decision has been made, what is left now is how to get his replacement without delay.”
The process to sack Rohr commenced on the evening of Tuesday, November 16, soon after the final group match of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between the Super Eagles and the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde. Although the encounter ended 1-1, with the Eagles securing qualification for the playoff in March, the performance of the team was nothing to write home about. Most fans at the Teslim Balogun Stadium were left wondering whether Rohr was the right man to lead the Super Eagles to her fourth continental title and a ticket to the Qatar World Cup next year.
In a move that was apparently swayed by the general mood among football fans and enthusiasts, top brass of the football federation summoned the coach for showdown talks. The meeting resulted in disagreement between the coach and his employers.
Determined to put an end to the Rohr era but hampered by lack of funds, the NFF found itself in a dilemma. “That kind of slowed them down,” our source said.
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“They(NFF) did not have the money, which is put at about $1 million (about N10 billion) to pay Rohr, should he be sacked now, as Nigerians want.”
Sports Vanguard also gathered that for a long time now, the NFF has been surviving on handouts from sponsorship deals with some corporate bodies. “It has been like that for the better part of this administration,” our source said, adding, “Nothing has come from the federal government.
If there had been the usual World Cup funding from the government, I don’t think the NFF would have been in such a poor state as not being able to offset Rohr’s salary arrears and his severance fee.”
This is a sharp contrast with what obtained in the past, when special fundraisers were organised for Super Eagles campaigns for major tournaments, even when government allocations were regular. Government set up task force in some cases for the World Cup. But no help this time from government.
The good news, however, is that the federation is intensifying effort to raise money to pay Rohr off. Rohr’s case is closed ,” our source concluded.
“It is over with Rohr. Idah Peterside, one time spokesman of the Eagles said from his South Africa base yesterday, adding that the Federation had already contacted a young coach from Europe.