The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has tasked the Nigeria Football Federation to demand better performance from Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr.
Dare made this known in a meeting he had with NFF President, Amaju Pinnick on Tuesday.
The sports minister’s demand is coming on the heels of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers the Eagles played against Sierra Leone, where they squandered a four-goal lead to play a 4-4 draw at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium Benin November 13.
The Eagles also played a goalless draw with the Leone Stars in the return leg played at the Steven Siaka Stadium, Freetown four days later.
According to a statement by the media office of the sports minister which was made available to our correspondent, Dare said the NFF should not wait until Rohr fails to qualify the Eagles for the AFCON and the World Cup before asking him “tough questions”.
“The recent dismal performance of the Super Eagles in their qualifiers against Sierra Leone has raised a few concerns and brought to fore the need to do a quick critique. The government, while concerned about the dismal performance and non discernible pattern of play and team harmony in the Super Eagles is looking beyond the outcome of the Nigeria versus Sierra Leone matches and AFCON. We are looking at the present and future administration of football that speaks to the development of the front room and backroom,” Dare said.
“The NFF must tightly hold the Technical Adviser to the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in his contract. Thus, we cannot wait for those conditions to come to life, before we tighten the screws or demand a higher or better performance, better technical depth, better player mix and team harmony and a functional national team, else Nigeria and football lovers in Nigeria will be the greatest losers. In this area, NFF must take necessary steps and actions beyond Rohr to protect our football fortunes.
“NFF should be more concerned about the failure of technical depth and absence of a defense mechanism which were glaring during the encounter with Sierra Leone rather than the rush to defend the contract of the Technical Adviser.
“Starting now, Nigeria must demand a higher or better performance from the technical adviser. We can’t wait until he fails to qualify our team for AFCON and the World Cup before we start to ask the tough questions. In this respect, I charge the NFF leadership to immediately take necessary steps to protect our football fortunes working with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development,” the sports minister added..
Pinnick in his response said the NFF will add a physical trainer, nutritionist, a psychologist and two or more match readers to the team’s technical staff to boost the bench.
He also said Rohr has been mandated to inject at least three home-based players to the team and to watch weekly matches of the Nigeria Professional Football League.