Gernot Rohr Says Being Sacked Cost Nigeria World Cup Ticket
Rohr was sacked barely a month to the 2021 AFCON.
Former Nigerian national team coach, Gernot Rohr, has expressed sadness over the failure of the Super Eagles to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and blamed it on the Nigeria Football Federation for sacking him. The German tactician believes Nigeria would have won the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and qualified for the World Cup if he was in charge of the team.
“We were still celebrating when the news came that I have been sacked as coach…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 team work. 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.”
Rohr was sacked barely a month to the 2021 AFCON in what the Nigeria FootballFederation president, Amaju Pinnick, described as “forestalling a disaster waiting to happen.’’ Pinnick further claimed that sacking Rohr “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.”
Following the dismissal of Rohr, former Nigerian international, Austine Eguavoen, was appointed on an interim basis to lead the team to the 2021 AFCON. Nigeria would be knocked out in the second round of 16 by Tunisia, but a perfect group stage run which saw Nigeria gain all nine points would make the NFF appoint Eguavoen to lead the team in the World Cup qualifiers two-leg play-off against Ghana. The Black Stars would beat the Super Eagles due to the head-to-head rule which saw both teams play out a 0-0 draw in Ghana and a 1-1 draw in Nigeria.
Eguavoen and his entire technical crew would be fired after the game and Peseiro appointed to handle the three-time African champions.
Featured Image Credit: Guardian NG