Gernot Rohr will not be on the Nigeria bench at the 2021 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon. The Franco-German coach has been sacked.
The final decision has been made. The end of the adventure between Gernot Rohr and Nigeria is now official. The Nigerian Football Federation confirmed the decision to part ways with the coach on Sunday. The timing of the decision is significant, with the 2021 African Cup of Nations kicking off in 28 days. The French-German coach, who took over as coach in August 2016, had been in the hot seat for some time.
The Super Eagles' qualification for the play-offs for the 2022 World Cup was not enough to relieve the pressure. The team's level of play was criticized by many, who struggled until the last day to qualify for the 2022 World Cup play-offs, in a group that was largely within their reach. The defeat against the Central African Republic in these same qualifiers also caused a lot of ink to flow. Many fans were calling for Gernot Rohr's departure.
Augustine Eguavoen to take over as interim coach
Despite this, the Franco-German coach was confirmed in his position. He knew that his time was running out. He acknowledged this four days earlier in a video interview. With less than a month to go before the African Cup of Nations, the Nigerian Football Federation has decided to stop. "The relationship between the Nigeria Football Federation and Mr Rohr has ended (...) We thank him for his services to the Super Eagles and Nigeria," the body said in a statement. Gernot Rohr leaves the ship after qualifying the team for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. The Super Eagles had finished on the 3rd step of the podium.
To ensure the interim, the Federation has inducted Augustine Eguavoen. Until then, the former international is in charge of preparing the 2021 African Cup of Nations. In his mission, he will be assisted by well-known names in Nigerian football: Salisu Yusuf, Paul Aigbogun, Joseph Yobo and Terry Eguaoje. All four will be his deputies. The appointment sounds like a return for Eguavoen, who has already experienced the bench of the Super Eagles in 2006, with the key to a 3rd place at the AFCON of the same year. It remains to be seen if he will have the same success with such a short preparation time.