The senior national team of Nigeria is one of the few national teams in Africa that has won everything in football except the FIFA World Cup. The team fondly called Super Eagles which is now managed by Franco-German coach Gernot Rohr is not new to any form of success in Africa football. For instance, the team has won three Africa Cup of Nations, 4 Silver medal and 8 bronze model of the same competition.
Beyond Africa, the team has played in FIFA World Cup 6 times and in that 6 appearances, the country has made it as far as the round of 16 three times; the most recent is in the 2014 World Cup. The team was 5th on FIFA ranking in April 1994, no Africa team has ever been so highly ranked by FIFA. The team also won world team of the year award in 1996 and other numerous awards.
All these achievements have made it so difficult to impress the undying fans of the Super Eagles as a coach. This is why despite the impact Gernot Rohr has made since he started coaching the national team in 2016, fans will always have reasons to make jest of his achievements with the team.
This was also the reason the Nigeria Football Federation had to drag for a while before the football body finally extended his contract which would have expired in June. Though he has helped the country to qualify for the last Nations Cup where he won a bronze medal and also helped the country to qualify for the last world Cup where the team couldn’t scale through the group stage, most of his supporters believe that he has done well enough for a contract extension.
But the argument has always been that the Super Eagles of Nigeria had achieved all these things and more with local coaches, hence his achievement in over three years as an ‘expatriate’ is not big enough to treat him different from other coaches the NFF have sacked in the past.
Gernot Rohr Must Win Nigeria’s 4th Nations Cup Trophy
In the midst of all the argument for and against Gernot Rohr, he and the NFF finally agreed to continue working together until 2023. But this time around, the NFF has given the 66-year-old coach clear cut targets he must accomplish if he wants to see through the contract.
According to a series of tweets the President of NFF, Amaju Pinnick, shared while announcing Rohr’s contract extension, the German-born coach must win the forthcoming Africa Nations Cup which is expected to be hosted by Cameroon in 2021 and also qualify Nigeria for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
In his reaction, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, told Nigeria Television Authority in an interview that if Rohr does not meet up with his target, he will be sacked.
“In that contract, there are points that if he does not meet the desired standard, we can terminate his contract. So we are not stuck with him”, the minister said. “He has an opportunity to prove himself.
“Even if we bring in the best coach in the world, we will set the same standard for him, and if those expectations are not met, we will show him the door.
“We will let this play out, he has also made promises that things will get better and I think we will just wait and see what happens eventually.”
Now, the ball is in the court of Gernot Rohr to do his job. Though some pundits believe that he might not be allowed to fully do his heart desire, yet, he will have no excuse if he fails to deliver on the targets given to him by the NFF.