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Rohr’s job not on the line – Pinnick

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  • He remains one of Nigeria’s worst coaches, says Aiyegbeni

The Nigeria Football Federation says there is no immediate plan to sack Coach Gernot Rohr despite the poor outings of the Super Eagles in recent matches.

Former Nigeria international Yakubu Aiyegbeni has labeled Gernot Rohr as one of the ‘worst coaches’ in Super Eagles history and questioned some of the credentials of the current crop of players.

In the recent Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifiers, Nigeria squandered a four-goal lead in a 4-4 draw at home to Sierra Leone and later played a 0-0 stalemate in the reverse fixture away to the Leone Stars in Freetown.

Nigeria still tops Group L despite the results in the qualification for Cameroon 2022.

NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, said notwithstanding the pressure on the football house, Rohr would not be sacked.

His reaction followed Sports Minister Sunday Dare’s social media comment questioning the ‘suitability and competence’ of the coach on the back of the 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture.

“Nobody is happy about what happened against Sierra Leone in both matches,” Pinnick told BBC Sport Africa

“But it is not enough to sack the coach because his team is still top of the Nations Cup group after four matches.

“His statistics speak volume for him. So, on what indexes do we want to sack him considering the contract recently signed by both parties?

“No matter how emotional and disappointed the fans are, there’s no basis to sack him now and he deserves to keep his job.”

Rohr, 67, was appointed coach of the three-time African champions in August 2016 and led them to a third place finish at the 2019 African Cup of Nations – after the team had missed back to back tournaments in 2015 and 2017.

But he has faced criticism over tactics and choice of players from the local media, former players and disappointed fans.

However, Pinnick backed the German to lead the West African nation to the delayed continental showpiece event in 2022 and the World Cup in Qatar same year, as agreed in his recently extended two-year contract.

“When you look at his performance, where he has won 29 matches, drew 14 and lost 10, you can say that is enough to back him,” said Pinnick.

“Yes, the performance in the last two games has not gone down well with some people, but we need to be professional, honest and respectful in how we analyse things.”

But Aiyegbeni believes Rohr is unfit for the hot-seat and has backed the call to relinquish him of the job.

He said, “The coach is not good enough, let him go,” said Aiyegbeni on Lagos Talks as reported by Goal.com.

He added, “Some of the boys are not good enough, I don’t know where they are bringing them from. Who is inviting these players?”

The former Blackburn Rovers, Everton, Middlesbrough, Leicester City and Portsmouth forward also said, “Our football is getting worse every day. When I was there, people criticised us, but we’re way better than these ones.

“The coach is not good enough, no clue. Gernot Rohr is one of the worst coaches in our history. He is not good enough.”

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Balogun to critics: You can’t criticise me for not trying

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Leon Balogun

Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun has defended his commitment to the Nigeria national side after recent criticisms directed at him over his performances.

The Rangers Glasgow’s defender has come under scathing criticisms following the country’s defeat to Central African Republic during their 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos last Thursday.

The centre-back was held responsible for the late goal conceded against the minnows following a mix-up with his defensive partner William Troost-Ekong, allowing CAR forward Karl Namnganda through on goal before slotting past Francis Uzoho, in goal for the Eagles.

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However, the 33-year-old redeemed himself by scoring against CAR in the second game of the double-header clash in Douala, Cameroon – his first strike for Nigeria since he made his debut in 2014.

In an interview with ESPN, the centre-back said he had always given 100 per cent for Nigeria.

You’ve seen me play for a few years now. And you know that when I step onto the pitch I always give 100 per cent and I am always passionate,” Balogun said.

“Whether I am having a good performance or a bad performance, you can never actually criticise me for not trying. That is what I always give, that is the least I can do.”

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2022 WCQ: Super Eagles Beat CAR In Douala To Maintain Group C Lead

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Nigeria’ Super Eagles defeated their Central African Republic counterparts 2-0 in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifier decided at the Stade Japoma de Douala in Cameroon.

First half goals from Leon Balogun and Victor Osimhen ensure that the three-times African champions picked maximum three points away after losing at home to CAR in the first leg match last Thursday in Lagos.

The result sees the Super Eagles five points ahead of CAR and Cape Verde, while Liberia are bottom of the log with just the three points after three matchdays.

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Lagos SWAN berates Iheanacho over unruly behaviour

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The Sports Writers’ Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Lagos Chapter, on Saturday berated Super Eagles’ striker, Kelechi Iheanacho over his disrespect to a journalist, Yinka Oyedele of Brila FM, during an encounter in Lagos.

Iheanacho’s attitude, according to a statement by Lagos SWAN’s Chairman, Debo Oshundun, was unsportsmanlike.

“The attention of SWAN Lagos Chapter has been drawn to Super Eagles’ striker Kelechi Iheanacho’s disrespect to one of our members, Yinka Oyedele of Brila FM.

“Oyedele, according to our findings, was arrogantly shoved off by the Leicester City forward while the reporter was making an attempt to interview him after the team’s training on Tuesday.

“Lagos SWAN frowns at this embarrassing act and disrespect to a journalist.

“Oyedele, a professional in the practice, doesn’t deserve such ill treatment from Iheanacho or any national team player,” he said.

Oshundun added “We urge the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to as a matter of urgency call the player to order.

“It is also not out place for the football house to educate the players on etIquette and relationship with the men of the fourth estate of the realm and fans alike.

“Such measures if put in place would prevent future occurrence.

“The Super Eagles take a prime place in every Nigerian journalists’ hearts and treatment such as this can only discourage reporters from doing more and giving their best for the course of our darling national team.

“We wish the senior national team and Iheanacho the best of luck in their reverse 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying fixture against Central Africa Republic on Sunday,” he said. (NAN)

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