BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI, ABUJA – Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has poured encomiums on Super Eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr for his impressive performance with the national football team so far.
Dare said the German-born tactician is deserving of accolades for the great job done as well as transformation that the Super Eagles have undergone in the last three years since taking charge in 2016.
Speaking during a planned breakfast outing before leaving for the regular Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Mr Dare appreciated Coach Rohr for giving Nigerian teeming football lovers something to cheer about with the Eagles’ current sparkling form.
He also applauded the team’s performance in their recent 2021 AFCON qualifiers where the Super Eagles pipped Benin Republic 2-1 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and Lesotho 4 -2 away in Maseru.
The Minister however challenged Coach Rohr to take a close look at Nigeria’s Professional Football League (NPFL), adding; “Our league need to develop and any country without a strong league can’t compete globally. I urge you to look into our league to build the necessary confidence on our local players.”
On Coach Rohr’s tenure with the Eagles, Mr Dare said renewing the contract, which expires June next year, is entirely the responsibility of his employer, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“The NFF will decide either to renew or not his (Rohr) contract,” he said, adding; “It is their duty to evaluate what he has done since he took over as the head Coach.”
According to him, “I have no say on that. But for me, I am happy with the progress of our young team and I urge him to do more towards winning trophies.”
In his remarks earlier, Coach Rohr, who presented an autographed Ahmed Musa’s number 7 jersey to Mr Dare, said his players were happy with the Minister’s appointment, assuring that the Super Eagles will redouble their efforts at ensuring qualification for the 2021 AFCON slated for Cameroon with 100 per cent record.
The 66-year-old German Coach said; “First, I bring you greetings from the players and they have sent me to present this signed Ahmed Musa Jersey to you which they would have done by themselves if you were in Uyo for their game against Benin Republic.
“They equally said I should thank you for your support and encouragement and to assure you that they will make you proud by qualifying for the Nations Cup in 2021 without dropping point.”
While thanking the Minister for appreciating the efforts by both players and coaching crew, Rohr said; “I am also happy working with this young team which I known in future Super Eagles will be a team to beat,” Rohr noted.
Since his appointment in 2016, the former FC Bordeaux of France Manager has led the Super Eagles to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Egypt 2019. It was the first time since 2013 that Nigeria featured in the continental championship and eventually emerged as third placed winners after beating Tunisia 1-0 for the bronze medal.
Also on Rohr’s credentials is guiding the Eagles to qualify for Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup from a seemingly difficult group that had three former African champions competing for the single slot.
Featuring in what many pundits tagged as “Group of death” were the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, Chipolopolo of Zambia and Desert Warriors of Algeria