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What it will cost Nigeria to sack Gernot Rohr – NFF President, Amaju Pinnick


NFF President Amaju Pinnick has discussed the complications involved in relieving Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr of his duties in an interview with Elegbete TV.

After Nigeria surrendered a 4-0 lead to draw 4-4 against Sierra Leone in Benin, there were outcries from Nigerians on social media to fire the Franco-German tactician.

Rohr was employed in 2016 and renewed his contract in January, 2020. Pinnick denied the target given to him before he was employed in 2016 was winning the 2019 AFCON which Nigeria came third.

Gernot Rohr during a press conference.

He then commented on a comment he received that his defense of Rohr will consume him, he clarified this by saying we love and are very passionate about football in Nigeria and that saying the truth won’t doesn’t mean the situation will consume him.

“If you look at what happened in Benin, I’ll review the technical report and see if we need to enhance the capacity around him, if we need to do a lot more scouting, a lot more analysis, we would. He’s human, even Rohr would be surprised I’m talking about him like this because we don’t agree because I’m always on his toes 24hours.” the NFF boss said.

“I was asked in an interview to assess Gernot Rohr, I then asked him how Pfizer developed Covid-19 vaccine, he said through technology and science, and science is that which is observable, so if you need to judge Rohr, you need data, it’s subjective to say he’s a good coach.

“The available data says he has played 53 games, won 29, lost 10 and drew 14. You can’t say he’s a bad coach from that. He has won some big games, he beat Argentina and drew Brazil. He beat Algeria, beat Cameroon 4-0 in Nigeria and drew them in Yaounde. He qualified for the World Cup with a game to spare. When your kid is doing well in school and then at some point he encounters issues, you don’t withdraw such from school but you review situations around him. You just need to manage him.”

As Nigerians continued to rage on getting Rohr sacked, few football administrators and journalists are of similar opinion to Pinnick that it’s financially impossible to sack him, not at a time fiance’s are heavily affected by the pandemic.

Pinnick added that if the criticisms of Rohr reaches a threat level and he decides to resign on grounds of that it equally carries the same consequences as an outright sack.

Pinnick during the interview with Elegbete TV

“My fear now is that if he decides based on people’s criticisms that Nigeria is unsafe for him and he doesn’t want to come again, we’d pay a lot of money, because his life has been endangered by threats.”

To further make Nigerians see reasons with him why it’s not a good idea to let Rohr leave, he gave in details the financial implications of the sack, also gave an example of a Nigerian coach (name withheld) fired before his regime but the NFF just paid about $240,000 compensation.

“If we sack Gernot Rohr, we will pay his salary from now till January 2023 when his contract expires, we will pay all his allowances, assuming all matches to be played from now till then would be won and we’d pay all the match bonus till then. We’d then pay compensation as damages and other charges. At the end of the day it could be as much as $3million. There are also political implications which I don’t want to talk about,” he explained. 

“The truth is I’m not supporting him, I’ll tell if he has done anything bad. You saw my reaction that day, I was hurt and cried, but there’s nothing I could do.

“We didn’t wake up one morning to employ Gernot Rohr, we did a lot of consultation. We consulted with the ministry and lawyers. Should he now be sacked through an opinion poll?

“Coaches are human, if you sack Rohr, who else would want to come? Can’t Nigerian coaches leave ceremoniously? When you look back at former Nigerian coaches, Westerhof, Bonfrère Jo, Lars Lagerback, Keshi and the likes, all left unceremoniously. We’re all humans and I believe in building good relationships with people because we can always need each other.

“I understand Nigerian’s love and passion for football, I can only plead that they see reasons with me, let’s manage Rohr and build capacity around him, we’d come up with other methods, you’ll see it in the game against Lesotho.” he concluded.

As said earlier that there was no AFCON victory as a target in his first contract, Pinnick also said there’s none of such in the contract extension.

“I don’t give people targets, I won’t put people under pressure,” the 50year old said.

“If we do and put a target in his contract and the target isn’t met, you can’t sack him because of that because of a FIFA rule that says a coach can’t be sacked based on sporting deficiencies or inadequacies and the coaches know that. They know the rules more than you. I’m just to work with him in ensuring we get to our promised land.”

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