Former Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has claimed that he could have saddled the Nigerian senior national team to win the 2021 African Cup of Nations and also make them qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar if he was not sacked.
The Nigerian Super Eagles team failed to exceed beyond the Round of 16 at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and also failed to qualify for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
The 69-year-old German coach declared that he had fashioned out some plans to help the Super Eagles succeed in these tournaments but was not allowed to implement those plans.
Former Super Eagles handler, Gernot Rohr, led Nigeria to qualify for the 2021 AFCON before he was disengaged from coaching the Nigerian senior team on the 12th of December, 2021-about a month before the continental tournament began in Cameroon. Augustine Eguavoen, a Nigerian retired footballer was installed as the German successor.
The German tactician, who qualified the Nigerian senior team for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and saddled them to finish 3rd in the 2019 AFCON in Egypt was disappointed to have seen the Super Eagles knocked out of the 2021 AFCON at the Round of 16 by Tunisia and also missed out on the World Cup after a 1-1 draw in Abuja which handed Ghana the ticket to compete for the World Cup tournament.
Gernot Rohr surmises that things could have worked in favor of the Super Eagles if he was in charge of the team.
He said: “We were still celebrating when the news came that I have been sacked as coach”.
After Gernot Rhor had led the Nigerian Super Eagles team to the World Cup playoffs, he was told to step aside in what the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick described as “forestalling a disaster waiting to happen”.
Pinnick claimed that the sack wasn’t a one-man decision but a collective decision from the committee.
Pinnick said: “It wasn’t an individual decision. It was a collective decision from the committee.
“We didn’t want a disaster to happen before taking the decision. We did everything that we could, but one major factor was that discipline in the team is lost practically.”
Since Gernot Rohr was disengaged from coaching the Nigerian senior team in December 2021, the German coach is yet to secure a new job despite attending interviews, however, he couldn’t stop to lament his thwarted opportunities with the Super Eagles.
Gernot Rhor added: “They claimed it was an order from the top. I was in shock. This came at a time when I feel we were almost getting close to making our project for teamwork.
“The aim was winning the AFCON and we had plans for a team that would have won it and also qualified for the World Cup.
“There was a plan to integrate new players using the AFCON and all the pre-World Cup friendly games. I can’t think of any player in the team now that we didn’t have in our plan or gave a call-up. I’m sad for my players.”
Certainly, Rhor’s abrupt disengagement was quite a breach of agreement as the German was given a target of guiding the team to win the 2021 Africa Nation’s Cup hosted by Cameroon, including qualifying the Super Eagles for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar which he was diligently progressing on before he was dismissed at the middle of the contract.
Most football pundits believe the Super Eagles would have secured the ticket to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar if Gernot Rhor was not dismissed.
What’s your opinion on this, could Super Eagles have won the 2021 AFCON tournament and gotten a ticket to the Qatar World Cup as Rhor claimed? Drop your reaction via the comment section below.