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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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Tottenham name Mason as interim manager

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Tottenham management has appointed Ryan Mason as new interim manager of the club following Jose Mourinho’s sacking on Monday.

Mourinho was removed at Spurs after 17 months in charge, six days before he was due to oversee the team’s appearance in the 2020-21 Carabao Cup final.

Mason, who had been serving as the club’s head of player development, will now be saddled with the duty of delivering their first major trophy since 2008 and will see out the remainder of the season before a new permanent boss is appointed over the summer.

Tottenham confirmed the news in a statement, which read, “Following the departure of Jose Mourinho, we can now confirm that Ryan Mason will take charge as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

“Ryan will be joined by Chris Powell and Nigel Gibbs as interim assistant head coaches and Michel Vorm as interim goalkeeping coach. Ledley King will continue in his role as first-team assistant.”

The club’s Chairman, Daniel Levy, also said, “We have great belief in this squad of talented players.

 

“We have a cup final and six Premier League games ahead of us and we shall now focus all our energies on achieving a strong finish to the season.”

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UEFA: We’ll ban players in Super League from World Cup, others

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UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin says all players that play in the Super League will be banned from the World Cup, European competitions and other global football events.

The threat followed the decision by 12 top European football clubs to found a Super League, which was announced in a joint statement late on Sunday.

The founding clubs of the mid-week league were listed as English Premier League clubs Manchester United and Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea. The others are Italy’s Juventus and Milan clubs AC and Inter, and the Spanish trio of FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

“It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable,” the 12 clubs said in the statement.

Reported to be financially very lucrative, the project does not have the support of football’s governing bodies.

UEFA and football leagues and federations from England, Italy and Spain described it as “a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.”

Fifteen of the 20 participating clubs are to be permanent members, and the remaining five will “qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season,” the statement said the 12 clubs involved in the Super League had “spat in the face of football.

“The players that play in the Super League will be banned from playing in the World Cup and Euros.”

He also said, “We will take all the sanctions that we can. I cannot stress more strongly how everyone is united against this disgraceful, self-serving proposals, fuelled by greed above all else.

“We urge everyone to stand tall with us as we do everything in our power to ensure this never ends up in fruition.”

According to the New York Times the new league would “generate hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue for the participating teams.”

The club’s are already the richest clubs in the sport.

It was however reported that 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich and finalists Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) were not among the clubs that had signed up or expressed interest.

In a statement UEFA and football leagues and federations from England, Italy and Spain said, “As previously announced by FIFA and the six federations, the clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level.

“Their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.

“We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this.”

Before the announcement the Premier League in England said it “condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit. These are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid.”

German Football League chief Christian Seifert spoke of his body’s opposition, saying, “We reject any kind of European Super League concept” which would “irreparably damage the national leagues as the basis of European professional football.”

The latest development comes on the eve of a UEFA executive committee meeting.

The meeting, apart from finalising the host cities for the summer’s Euro tournament, is also to approve a Champions League reform from 2024 onwards.

The powerful European Club Association (ECA) and UEFA’s club competitions committee were reportedly in agreement Friday about the reform.

Under this, the elite event is to be increased from 32 to 36 teams and each team plays 10 instead of six group games in what is known as “the Swiss model.”

Two of the additional four clubs are to controversially come via historic results not through qualification via domestic action.

The large number of additional matches is a threat to domestic competitions.

Fan groups have also voiced their dissent, with an even bigger outcry expected if a Super League becomes reality.

The reports said that European officials were discussing counter measures which could include banning Super League clubs from next season’s Champions League.

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Tottenham sack Jose Mourinho

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Tottenham Hotspur management has sacked coach Jose Mourinho.

The announcement comes after Tottenham Hotspur drew 2-2 with Everton on Friday evening, leaving them down in seventh place in the table.

Mourinho was appointed as Tottenham manager in November 2019, a day after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino.

He guided them to sixth place in the table by the end of the campaign, but his style of football often didn’t win him much acclaim from fans.

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