Amid intense speculation over the immediate future of Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr, Nigerian senator Orji Uzor Kalu has called on the Nigeria Football Federation to sack the 68-year-old Franco-German with immediate effect.
Rohr’s future with the national team has come under massive scrutiny after the Super Eagles barely scraped through to the final playoff round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
While they were unbeaten on the road, Nigeria managed just one win at home in the qualifiers – a 2-0 victory against Liberia in Lagos. Rohr’s Eagles suffered a shock loss to 115th-ranked Central Africa Republic before ending their campaign with an anodyne 1-1 draw with Cape Verde.
For many Nigerians, the uninspiring qualifying campaign was further proof of the team’s regression over the last two years and the final straw.
More worrying for some is Rohr’s apparent inability to fashion an exciting style of play from the array of young, exciting talents at his disposal despite having spent over five years in the role.
His decision to recall Odion Ighalo two years after the 32-year-old striker retired from international duty also left many scratching their heads and long-suffering fans believe retaining the former Gabon manager could see Nigeria fail to make Qatar 2022.
It is a sentiment also shared by the 61-year-old senator who revealed that as Abia State governor, he once turned down the opportunity to engage Rohr as manager for state-owned club Enyimba.
Senator Kalu wondered how a man he deemed not good enough for the two-time African champions ever got to be named manager of Nigeria’s national team.
As Abia State governor, Kalu masterminded the most successful period in Enyimba’s history, helping the Aba Elephants win back-to-back CAF Champions League titles in 2003 and 2004.
Calling Rohr’s five years as Eagles boss a ‘waste’ Kalu said the NFF would be remiss in failing to dismiss the former Bordeaux manager from his position.
In the last five years we have wasted our time in football,” Senator Kalu bemoaned to his followers on his official Facebook page. “There is nothing new we are doing any longer. To see a country with many professional players home and abroad struggling to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup is heartbreaking. Gernot Rohr is not a good coach and I don’t understand why he is still managing Super Eagles.”
“When I Was Governor, he applied to become employed as Enyimba coach. He was brought to Nigeria by Oscar Udoji but I refused to employ him. I am calling on the Chairman of NFF, Mr Amaju Pinnick to wake up and to quickly find a replacement for Rohr.
“We soccer lovers don’t need further dissatisfaction in a game, we have the capacity to make ourselves proud. If the problems you have this year are the same problems you had last year, then you are not a leader. You are rather a problem on your own that must be solved.”