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Friday, March 5, 2021

Gernot Rohr signs new deal with Super Eagles

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Nigeria have re-signed Gernot Rohr to a new two-year contract extension that will see the German finish as the longest-serving coach in Super Eagles history by the end of his tenure.

Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick announced on Twitter: “I’m happy to announce that the NFF and coach Gernot Rohr have concluded all contractual discussions and he will stay on as Coach of the Super Eagles. We have always had confidence in his abilities and we are confident that the national team can only go higher from here.”

Rohr, who has been in charge of Nigeria’s men’s national team since August 2016, has been given a brief of leading Nigeria to qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and chasing a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title win 2021.

Rohr’s previous deal, which was extended ahead of the 2018 World Cup, was due to run out in June, and both parties had been engaged in a protracted negotiation since last November.

But last week, the NFF board directed the general secretary to conclude all matters regarding the coach’s contract within a week, and that his exactly what has happened after reports linking former Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp with the role.

Under the terms of the new deal, Rohr will be expected to spend the majority of the year living in Nigeria, take a pay cut, and be paid in local currency.

The 66-year-old told ESPN he had no issues with any of those terms.

“I agree to these two things, and even I agree to have a lower salary,” he said.

“I am not doing my job for money. I am doing my job because I like it. Because we have built a team like you know, and money is not the most important.

“I accept because I think that my mission in Nigeria is not finished yet, and I know very well my players. I know very well the officials. We are now just like a family and I think it is good to continue, especially in this period now where it is difficult to change, to travel, to see new people.”

Since taking over, Rohr has built a team composed of mostly young players, and has also worked with the federation to entice players born abroad and representing other countries in age-group football, to switch their international allegiance to Nigeria.

He also turned around Nigeria’s fortunes, qualifying with ease for both the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, where his team finished third and he became the first Nigeria coach to use all 23 players in the squad.

Critics have pointed to his snubbery of players from the domestic league, as well as perceived lack of tactical game management, but NFF officials has stood by their man.

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