Sports

Why we can’t sack Rohr now, says Pinnick

Nigeria Football Federation will not fire coach Gernot Rohr despite recent disappointing results and growing calls for his dismissal. The Super Eagles have failed to win this year after they drew thrice and lost once in four matches. Two of these draws were with Sierra Leone, who are ranked 120th in the world by FIFA, and it included a 4-4 draw in Benin City, southern Nigeria, where the home team led 4-0 after half hour only to surrender this advantage by the second half.

The results against Sierra Leone have caused an agitation for the sack of the German coach, who former international Yakubu Aiyegbeni described as “Nigeria’s worst ever coach”. However, NFF president Amaju Pinnick has backed Rohr to lead Nigeria to the Africa Cup of Nations in 2022 as well as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. “Rohr has done well as our coach, qualifying us for the World Cup and finishing third at the AFCON.

It was the same coach who beat Argentina and drew with Brazil in friendlies,” d e – fended Pinnick. “He has our full support.” Pinnick also pointed out that the NFF cannot afford to sack Rohr because they will have to undertake a huge severance payment. “Sacking Rohr is not as easy as Nigerians see it, the football federation would have to pay him off,” he explained. Such a pay-off is reportedly put at around $1.2 million.

Pinnick’s position comes after the country’s sports minister Sunday Dare questioned the competence of the German coach on the back of the recent draws with Sierra Leone. Dare has always maintained that Nigeria deserve a top coach to lead the Eagles to glory, arguing that a situation where the players are more sound technically than their coach is unacceptable. He again restated this position on social media following Eagles’ poor performances against Sierra Leone. Rohr only recently signed a new two-year contract, which pays him $45,000 monthly. Under him, Nigeria have won 29 matches, drew 14 and lost 10.

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