Sports Ministry Denies Redknapp Choice As Eagles Coach
The Sports Ministry has debunked reports that it is trying to force Englishman, Harry Redknapp, on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as a replacement for Super Eagles’ Manager, Gernot Rohr, whose contract with Nigeria ends in June.
According to reports, top officials of the ministry want 73- year-old Redknapp, whose last coaching job was in 2017, to take over Rohr’s position.
Recently, Sports Minister, Sunday Dare was quoted as saying that all he wants is for a competent coach, whether Rohr or another person, to manage the Eagles, a statement some reports say is a sign that Rohr’s days in the country are numbered.
But the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media, John Joshua Akanji, has debunked the claims.
Joshua told The Guardian that the minister was not involved in employing any coach for the Super Eagles, adding, “The ministry doesn’t react to rumours and speculations.
“The minister wants the best coach for Nigeria and he is not going to compromise on that. He said it does not matter whether it is Rohr or whoever…all he wants is for the NFF to employ the best coach period for the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, The Guardian has learnt that the NFF’s latest move to renew Rohr’s contract has come as a big blow to Argentine, Hector Cuper, who has had a longstanding ambition to manage the Super Eagles.
The former Valencia of Spain coach, who has also managed Inter Milan and Egypt, was hopeful of getting the Eagles’ job, which he sees as a good opportunity to reassert his credential as one of the world’s top coaches after his mixed adventure with Egypt.
The NFF reportedly gave its secretary-general a one-week ultimatum to sort out issues delaying Rohr’s new deal ahead of the global resumption of football activities.
A local website reported yesterday that Cuper’s agent, Alejandro Camanõ, was waiting to pounce on Eagles’ job should Rohr opt to part ways with Nigeria.
It added that Nigeria and Ghana were Cuper’s countries of interest, adding that the Argentine was ready to accept a pay cut to tinker Super Eagles after his effort to manage Ghana’s Black Stars failed to materialise with the appointment of Charles Akunor by Ghana Football Association (GFA).
The NFF President Amaju Pinnick has always indicated that a long list of indigenous and foreign coaches was waiting in the wings if Rohr failed to accept the new terms in his contract, the report claimed.