The last 48 hours has seen the issues of the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr on the front burner as various news outlets speculate on the exact situation of his job. Has he been sacked? Was he sacked and then taken back or he would never be sacked?
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The first major news was that he had been sacked and even though the Nigeria Football Federation has denied that the French-German had been sacked, that is about the correct situation. Checks confirm that Rohr is still keeping his job because of the $2m clause attached to his contract if he is sacked while fulfilling his own part of the deal.
It was reported on Thursday that a Nigerian bank had agreed to pay Rohr’s severance package running to as much as N600m but FA sources say it is not true. What is true is that the NFF is offering Rohr a year’s salaries – about $600,000 to quit rather than be sacked. The coach is on $49,000 monthly salary apart from bonuses. At the peak of the scarcity of hard currencies, the monthly pay was converted to the Naira equivalent. If he accepts, it would save the country more than $1m dollars.
The deal with Rohr signed in 2020 amongst other things is for him to reside in Nigeria; watch the domestic league and qualify the country for the African Nations Cup and the World Cup. In the case of the Nations Cup, a top four finish. He has been keeping to his side of the deal except that hardly anyone can bet on Rohr being able to take the Super Eagles through the knockout stage to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. It is that fear that has forced the NFF to consider him for firing.
Huge boos followed the Super Eagles after their wobbly performance against Cape Verde in Lagos on Tuesday. It was indeed surprising for those at the stadium for the early lapse in security that allowed football fans to gain access to the pitch before the players were quickly cordoned off and the fans kicked out. Odion Ighalo who has just been recalled to the team was heavily criticized for a lackluster performance.
The NFF President Amaju Pinnick was forced to speak on the situation on Thursday insisting that no such decision had been taken.
He said via an official statement, “The Board of the NFF is studying the report of the Technical Committee, which it submitted after the match against Cape Verde in Lagos on Tuesday. There are a number of possibilities but we have not taken a decision to sack Gernot Rohr.
“I want to assure that whatever decision is eventually taken will be one that will please the generality of Nigerians.
“Mr Rohr has a contract with the NFF and there is a procedure for disengagement. If we get to that bridge, both parties will look at the contract and see what has to be done both ways.
“The Super Eagles’ squad is a national asset and we are just fortunate to be in that space to take decisions. Any decision we take must be what will be acceptable to Nigerians from far and near.”
Both sides are still in discussion as the NFF continue to push for his resignation that would save the federation a lot of cash in an austere economy.