Amaju Melvin Pinnick, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, has restated his backing for embattled head coach of the Super Eagles Gernot Rohr despite increasing calls for the immediate dismissal of the German.
The under-fire 67-year-old is facing intense criticism especially after the Super Eagles’ performance during their 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying double-header wherein they failed to beat the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone, home and away.
The Leone Stars forced Nigeria’s senior men’s national team to a 4-4 draw at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium Benin City on Friday, November 13. The return leg at the Siaka Stevens Stadium, Freetown on Tuesday, November 17 ended in a goalless stalemate.
In the immediate aftermath, Sunday Dare, Nigeria’s Minister for Youth and Sports Development, was directly critical of the results. He openly expressed this while insisting ”that the needful will be done”.
In a recent tweet, the Minister was candid about his sentiments regarding the coaching bench. “Nigerian football deserves better.” Former Nigerian international Yakubu Aiyegbeni went as far as describing Rohr as “Nigeria’s worst ever coach.”
However, on his own part, Pinnick backed the former Gabon and Niger coach to continue on the job.
“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,” Pinnick declared in support while on the domestic national television Sports Parliament programme.
“He has our full support.”
“Sacking Rohr is not as easy as Nigerians see it. The football federation would have to pay him off,” he explained.
Newsmen gathered that such a pay-off is reportedly put at around $1.2 million.
Rohr, who was appointed Super Eagles manager in 2016, signed a new two-year contract, with a monthly pay of $45,000 (about N17m) in March this year. Under him, Nigeria has played 53 matches of which they have won 29, drawn 14 and lost 10.