By Emmanuel Okogba
Former presidents of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) have called for the immediate sacking of Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr saying the German handler isn’t the calibre of coach befitting the senior men’s national football team.
They join other football stakeholders in the country who have shared the same sentiment regarding how the team has fared under Rohr.
The call for Rohr’s sack intensified after the team struggled to earn a draw against Cape Verde in their last group game of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Although they qualified for the play-offs, the performance did not sit well with most Nigerians who are concerned that the Super Eagles may not make it out of the play-offs where they will meet teams that are more composed and deadlier in front of goal.
A statement by the past presidents made available to Vanguard reads, “Having carefully studied the bumpy journey of the Nigerian Super Eagles since Gernot Rohr took over as Manager, coupled with the persistent struggle of the team to put smiles in the faces of Nigerians, former Presidents of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) have concluded that the German handler of the team isn’t the calibre of coach befitting the Super Eagles.
“We must commend the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF for doing well in terms of providing the Super Eagles and Gernot Rohr with what they needed even as the German’sinefficiency has demeaned the good work of the NFF leadership at a period the team has never had it as good.
“Before now, it was problem of either allowances have not been paid to them or mulling how the team will travel for engagements. All these have become things of the past.
“In the past, Nigerians could be in their bedrooms and name Eagles’ first eleven – not these days.
“Unfortunately too, all the attributes of the Super Eagles have vanished! Nobody, including Rohr himself can say what pattern the Eagles are playing.
“Almost six years now, Rohr has been experimenting with virtually new team in every match.
“The team has no base, no speed or pattern used. This is why each time our darling Super Eagles, under Rohr are playing, Nigerians have their hearts in their mouths.
“We cannot fold our arms and watch a coach who hasn’t the technical ability to handle his country’s national team lead us to the ditch.
“Our national team had, before now, been built to the status of a brand, not only for the country but for Africa. Of late, the team’s lukewarm performance, has denuded the 3-time ‘African champions’ of their status of Africa’s role model as a team with character that sends shivers down the spines of opponents.
“The path the team is now taking doesn’t seem to have light at the end of the tunnel, at this critical stage which Nigerians cherish the country’s qualification for both the World Cup in Qatar next year as well as good outing in the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.”
As way forward, they called for Rohr’s sack and the hiring of a first class coach befitting of the Super Eagles’ status.