By Esther Egbe
President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick has explained that the resolve of the Federation’s leadership to ensure there are no distractions of any kind around Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup preparation and participation informed the offer of a fresh, two–year contract to Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr National Daily learnt.
Franco-German Rohr, signed by the NFF in August 2016, has met the first milestone of his contract, which is qualifying the Super Eagles for a sixth FIFA World Cup finals. Nigeria thoroughly overhauled a so –called Group of Death, spanking 2012 AFCON winners Zambia home and away and earning four points from home-and-away clashes with fellow 2014 World Cup finalists Cameroon and Algeria. Second –placed Zambia finished six points behind the Super Eagles National Daily gathered.
Pinnick told National Daily that “After signing the agreement on payment to the team from expected FIFA income, the next stage was to take care of the Technical Adviser. He has done very well and does not need to go into the World Cup uncertain of his future,”.
The 64 –year old Rohr, a former Germany defender, flaunts a sterling record with the Super Eagles, winning seven of 12 matches and drawing four in his 15 months in charge so far. His only loss was the 0-2 reverse to South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in a 2019 AFCON qualifier in Uyo in June 2017.
Under him, the Eagles have beaten Tanzania, Zambia (twice), Algeria, Togo, Cameroon and two –time world champions Argentina, and drawn with Senegal, Corsica, Cameroon and Algeria.
Following the 1-0 defeat of Zambia in Uyo on 7th October that guaranteed Nigeria’s place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, Rohr, whose qualifying squad has been declared the youngest of all 32 finalists, told thenff.com: “I love working with this group. I am delighted being at the head of such a wonderful, level –headed and ambitious squad.”
After signing a two –year contract with the NFF last year, Rohr told thenff.com: “I have a German heart – the heart of a winner. I have confidence that with the right atmosphere and the right support, the Super Eagles have the capacity not only to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, but to get to the latter stages of the competition.”
03/09/2016: Nigeria 1 Tanzania 0 (AFCON Qualifier, Uyo)
09/10/2017: Zambia 1 Nigeria 2 (WC Qualifier, Ndola)
12/11/2016: Nigeria 3 Algeria 1 (WC Qualifier, Uyo)
23/03/2017: Nigeria 1 Senegal 1 (Friendly, London)
27/05/2017: Corsica 1 Nigeria 1 (Friendly, Ajaccio)
01/06/2017: Nigeria 3 Togo 0 (Friendly, Paris)
10/06/2017: Nigeria 0 South Africa 2 (AFCON Qualifier, Uyo)
01/09/2017: Nigeria 4 Cameroon 0 (WC Qualifier, Uyo)
04/09/2017: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 1 (WC Qualifier, Yaounde)
07/10/2017: Nigeria 1 Zambia 0 (WC Qualifier, Uyo)
10/11/2017: Algeria 1 Nigeria 1 (WC Qualifier, Constantine)
14/11/2017: Argentina 2 Nigeria 4 (Friendly, Krasnodar)