Opinion: It’s time for Rohr to throw in the towel

Nigerian coach Gernot Rohr during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Central African Republic and Nigeria held at the Omnisports Stadium in Ngaoundere, Cameroon on 10 October 2021 © Alain Guy Suffo/BackpagePix

It is now clear and obvious that the NFF no longer want Germot Rohr to continue as Super Eagles chief coach. It has gotten to that point where a decision for or against could cause serious division among egg-heads in the football house.

After the dismal performance against Cape Verde, some of the most quiet members of the executive committee voiced out their anger and pointed accusing fingers. More than six board members were united in their position as they screamed, enough is enough!, we can no longer endure the psychological trauma that comes with every Super Eagles game, we need a change.

Remember that this writer made a few observations about two weeks ago when Salisu Yusuf was returned as assistant to Germot Rohr. In that write-up, he pointed out that Salisu’s return will pave way for Rohr’s exit. He never thought it will come this fast.

Today, the question being asked by these six who desperately want Rohr out is, what is he doing that Salisu cannot do better?

Unfortunately, this fresh agitation is coming at a time when the NFF president Amaju Pinnick is not in a mood to offend his friends especially key members of his inner caucus many of whom he considers vital to actualizing his third term dream.

That explains why for the very first time, he is giving their agitation a listening ear. He knows there is an agenda but he can only do his best to make them see reasons with him.

Over time, these men have asked questions, they have grumbled in silence as they seek to find answers to many questions bothering on the key details in Gernot Rohrs contract. To them, the man is enjoying too much presidential protection. Unfortunately, just when they wanted to strike, Salisu Yusuf (the favored one) humbled his kingsmen with that ill-fated bribery scandal that got him a one year ban from football and left many crest fallen.

All that is now in the past and they have succeeded in returning Salisu to his position as assistant to Rohr on the guise that the Super Eagles under Germot Rohr has been poor since the 4-4 home draw with Sierra Leone.

In a recent friendly match in Austria with the indomitable lions of Cameroon, two members of the board confronted the team secretary and told him to tell the coach that they are totally disappointed in him.

Remember, that as Chairman of the technical committee, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh has not enjoyed the luxuries of his position. He has not seen a list of invited players before it is made public and has played no role in vetting or contributing to any team list in the last three years. These are the issues and with them come bottle anger.

Now the bottle is finally broken and aggrieved men have spoken out.

In 2014, former Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi (now late) may his soul continue to rest in perfect peace, came to a crossroad with the NFF at some point. He was sacked by the board but he leveraged on his relationship with former sports minister Tamuno Danagogo and the former Senate president to get president Goodluck Jonathan to reinstate him as Chief coach.

That was a slight and a clear case of government interference but because the NFF never wanted to offend Mr president they resorted to option B.

Plan B worked perfectly for them as the former Togo National team coach was accused of inviting a certain amateur player to the Super Eagles and also accused of applying for the vacant position of the Ivorian National team coach. Both offenses went contrary to the dictates of his contract and led to his eventual sack.

We are at that point again where men have started looking at every loophole in Gernot Rohr’s contract. Unfortunately, unlike Keshi, whose contract terms were public knowledge, Rohr’s contract has remain a private property seen only by three Van Dammes in the Glass house.

What may happen in the coming days is that one of these three, loyal to the protesting camp, may sell out and provide the loophole to nail Rohr.

It is only when and if that happens you can say the die is cast. For now, it is looking more like a cat and mouse game. The cat seem to be protecting the fish from the mouse who desperately want to get their taste of the pudding.

It is getting more and more interesting every hour but if you ask this writer, the wisest decision for Rohr is to step down and leave as the voices against him keeps increasing and men are daily looking for ways to blackmail him. At this point, he has been exposed to public hatred and ridicule, any attempt to hang on could leave him at the mercy of his devourers.

He needs to walk away now or be ready to dance to some unknown music from some unknown spirits.

By Adewale Ajayi

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