The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has finally sacked Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr and appointed ex-international, Augustine Eguavoen, as Technical Adviser on interim basis.
Eguavon, ex-Nigeria international currently serves as Technical Director.
Eguavoen’s appointment, the NFF said is with immediate effect.
He is back to a familiar terrain. He was coach of the squad when it finished in third place at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in 2006.
Rohr’s sack was announced by NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi.
“The relationship between the Nigeria Football Federation and Mr Rohr has come to an end. We thank him for his services to the Super Eagles and Nigeria.
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“We also want to thank the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports for their collaboration and guidance all through.”
The NFF executive committee also appointed assistants for Eguavoen.
Salisu Yusuf will serve as Chief Coach; Paul Aigbogun Assistant Coach; Joseph Yobo, Assistant Coach; Dr Terry Eguaoje, Assistant Coach and Aloysius Agu, Goalkeeper Trainer.
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Former Nigeria captains Augustine ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and Garba Lawal have been appointed to provide technical and ambassadorial support for the crew.
Rohr has been in charge of the Super Eagles for more than five years, logging the record as Nigeria’s longest –serving manager.
Eguavoen will now take charge of the team as it begins preparations for the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations taking place in Cameroon between 9 January and 6 February 2022.
Mr Augustine Eguavoen, a former Nigeria captain, was coach of the squad when it finished in third place at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in 2006. He was on-field captain when the Super Eagles lifted the Africa Cup for the first time on away ground, in Tunisia 27 years ago.
He will now take charge of the team as it begins preparations for the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations taking place in Cameroon 9th January – 6th February 2022, and until the appointment of a substantive Head Coach.
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Mr Gernot Rohr was named as permanent manager of the three-time African champions in August 2016, following the departure of the Nigerian great Sunday Oliseh.
He won his first game in charge of the Super Eagles – defeating Tanzania 1-0 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.
The German tactician led the country to the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia as well as the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations – where Nigeria finished third after defeating Tunisia in the third-place match.
In May 2020, he agreed on a two-and-a-half-year contract extension after the NFF reviewed his performances.
Before he was axed, the 68-year-old came under heavy criticism from Nigerians after the Super Eagles struggled but eventually advanced from Group C in the second round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The former Bordeaux coach currently has a record of 28 wins out of 54 matches with Nigeria and he is the most-capped coach in the national team’s history.
Former African Player of the Year Victor Ikpeba had warned that sacking Rohr on the eve of Afcon would be a “disaster” while urging the NFF to learn from history.
“It is less than 48 days before our first game against Egypt at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. The speculation about his sack has been intense and I’m really surprised,” Ikpeba said on SuperSport.
“I know what happened in 2002 and in 2010. Rumour of people going to the sports ministry and the presidency calling for Rohr to be sacked.
“Rohr has done the needful qualifying the Eagles for the World Cup playoffs. Yes, we were not brilliant against Cape Verde but he has done the needful.
“Why not wait till after the Afcon and take a decision on his future. It will be a disaster if that happens now. If you sack Rohr and employ another coach if the team fails at the Afcon who takes the blame?
“What will the new manager change. What changed in 2002 and in 2010? It was a disaster. This will happen again if Rohr is sacked now.
“My worry is that we forget history and we should not. Those who sacked the late Amodu Shuaibu twice said he was not good enough. Gernot Rohr has been too soft with the players the NFF can help him.”