Sports

sports Minister wants Amuneke to replace Rohr

•To meet with NFF on German’s future
…insists on indigenous manager for Eagles

Barring unforeseen circumstances, former African Footballer of the Year, Emmanuel Amuneke, may realise his ambition to manage the Super Eagles earlier than he expects as the Minister of Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, has selected him as the man to take over from the incumbent handler, Gernot Rohr.

The minister, Saturday Telegraph learnt, hasn’t hidden his desire to have Rohr leave the position only few months into his new contract. To justify this, sources in the sports ministry told our correspondent that Amuneke tops the list of names expected to take over. Dare expressed his displeasure at the performance of Rohr after his side surrendered a four-goal lead to draw with Sierra Leone in the first leg of the 2022 African Cup of Nations qualifying match played in Benin City, Edo State last week.

It was also gathered that the failure of the side to redeem themselves in the second leg when they played another goalless draw in Freetown, furthered strengthened the minister’s resolve to sack the German tactician. The minister on Wednesday demonstration his frustration at the lackluster performance of the coach when he wrote on his verified Twitter handle that: “The performance of the Super Eagles from their last two matches calls to question the suitability and competences of Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr.

Nigerian football deserves better. The needful will be done. Apologies to all football lovers.” Dare further backed that up with another salvo when he said he had the power to fire the coach despite not being his direct employer.

However, a source told our correspondent that the minister had been so keen on having Amuneke work within the Nigerian football since he assumed office and he feels the coach has a rich resume to manage the senior national team.

Saturday Telegraph learnt from a reliable source that the minister would meet with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in the coming days to look at the legal encumbrances around Rohr’s contract with a view to sacking the coach.

The source said: “The minister believes there are local coaches with intense ability to manage the Super Eagles and he knows Amuneke is one of them. He was particularly embarrassed by the result in Benin City that if he had his way he would have announced the sacking of Rohr that night. “In the coming days, the minister will meet with the leadership of the NFF to decide on the future of the coach. Left to him, he wants another person to take over immediately.

“He wants a local coach and he strongly believes the former Barcelona player who qualified Tanzania for the last African Cup of Nations has proved himself and should be ready for the Nigerian team.

“Not many people knew that Amuneke was actually sounded out for the Super Falcons job after the erstwhile Manager Thomas Dennerby abandoned the team last year. “The minister personally spoke with the former Golden Eaglets coach if he would be willing to take up the national women side but the former Zamalek of Egypt star politely turned down the offer, saying he would prefer to manage only a male side not female.”

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