You know the American comedian and writer, Groucho Max, must’ve dreamt about Nigeria and the NFF in 2020 when he said: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies”.
The Gernot Rohr and NFF long war to the contractual muddy waters dates back to the aftermath of the 2019 AFCON in Egypt. The football body was called upon by some Nigerian football faithful immediately after the AFCON in Egypt to relieve the German manager of his duties.
The NFF through its supremo, Amaju Pinnick, made a statement that Gernot Rohr would not be sacked, but instead be sent on a refresher course to Germany to bolster his knowledge in managing. How the ‘refresher course’ has suddenly vanished, and we’re here flogging the renewal of Rohr’s contract is surprising.
It’s known that football is run side by side with politics, but at that, it will be more dangerous to adopt what is called “politicizing of Nigerian football” (that’s if it hasn’t been adopted anyway) by the administrators who handle the entity.
Nigeria apparently, is a Nation that has had a blissful relationship with foreign football managers. From 1949 till date, Nigeria has had 16 foreign managers that have managed the National Team and some of them directly or indirectly, have contributed to the greatness of Nigerian football.
The local managers also, have held their heads high as far as managing the National Team is concerned but can it be likened to that of the foreign managers? Maybe, maybe not.
When Gernot Rohr landed the Eagles job in 2016, some terms and conditions were given to him to achieve which were: to qualify Nigeria for the World Cup, Nigeria had missed out on two AFCON tournaments before he came, he was asked to make sure Nigeria qualifies as well.
He qualified the Super Eagles for the World Cup but couldn’t go beyond the first round, at AFCON, he was mandated to take Nigeria at least to the semifinals. Again, he took the country to the semifinal and eventually emerged as the third best-placed team at the expense of Tunisia.
Technically, this is not bad for a manager on his first contract. To renew his contract has become what has been argued all across the country and the NFF are being asked to be realistic.
Going by the quote from Max, the body language of the current NFF board as per this contract is concerned, is all about using their politics to look for trouble. The trouble which might cost the nation a great deal football-wise.
What the NFF have tagged as “terms and conditions” looks like telling Rohr indirectly, that they are tired of Rohr’s services. Nobody says that the NFF shouldn’t have a quota in the contract of the manager, but that quota must be a reasonable one.
The kinds of clauses included in the new contract are more of diagnosing their politics. Scouting for players in the NPFL alone, getting salaries in Naira (this is a good idea anyway, but something must be done to the payment of the players as well), living in Nigeria and making use of home-based players.
All of the mentioned clauses are not enough for a federation with a vision to better the football of a nation to hold a manager to ransom. Better conditions should’ve come from the NFF.
Also, the appointment of Joseph Yobo as one of his assistants by the federation has exacerbated the probable resignation of Rohr. And with the romance of some players from the 1994 Super Eagles team with Yobo and Amaju, conspiracy is lurking in the dark.
The way the treacherous battle over the contract is been fought, Gernot Rohr might be fed up eventually and walk away from the job. And with recent happenings, should Gernot Rohr leaves, Joseph Yobo looks like the Aaron that will take over from Moses (Gernot Rohr)
Many have talked about the experience of Yobo as the assistant manager but have failed to take to contain the kind of respect Yobo would command in the current Super Eagles team.
“I’ve been a fan of the team before I became an assistant coach, so I’ve seen from a fanatical point of view how people feel when they are watching the team. We as players, while playing, don’t notice these things but after my retirement, I’ve been a pundit, I’ve given my opinion about what should be done in the team.”
Apparently, he’s coming into the job, thinking that it would be the same with punditry. This doesn’t count. There’s the position of a pundit and that of an assistant manager. As it stands, the NFF is sitting on a keg of gunpowder with its plans for Rohr.
FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™
Council assigns FIFA Women’s World Cup™ hosting decision to the football governing body’s Congress; also approves financial statements for 2020 and budget for 2022.
Meeting by video conference, the Council conferred to the Congress the decision to award Women’s World Cup™ hosting rights.
Until now, the decision has been taken by the FIFA Council, most recently in June 2020 when the hosting rights for the 2023 edition were awarded to Australia and New Zealand.
As the football governing body seeks to raise the profile of the women’s game, this represents a significant step to bring the Women’s World Cup in line with the flagship men’s competition.
The proposal will be put forward for a final decision by the 71st FIFA Congress, which will meet virtually (for the second time) on 21 May.
International match calendar and release of players.
The FIFA Council received a report on the international football situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bureau of the Council had extended to April 2021 the temporary amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players regarding the release of players for international duty, and FIFA, the confederations, and its member associations remain in dialogue with national authorities about exemptions from quarantine rules for national team players.
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The FIFA Council recognized that the highest priority in football is the health of the players, and therefore the discussion around the release of players for international duty must maintain this perspective, especially as the public health situation develops around the world.
2020 financials and 2022 budget
The Council also approved the organization’s Annual Report, which contains the financial statements for 2020 and the budget for 2022.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 focuses on the role played by world football’s governing body in the fight against COVID-19, primarily through the unprecedented COVID-19 Relief Plan, which has made available USD 1.5 billion to support FIFA’s 211 member associations and the confederations through times of financial uncertainty.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 is available on the official site.
FIFA Arab Cup 2021™
The Council approved the competition regulations for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, confirming the match schedule and draw procedure for the competition taking place in Qatar from 1 to 18 December this year.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Fédération Internationale de Football Association.
Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency
Ever wondered why Genk forward Paul Onuachu has always been a prolific figure for his club and find it hard to replicate that form with the Super Eagles when invited?
The Nigeria international has been in awesome form for the Blue-White, scoring 26 goals in the Jupiler League this season for Genk, while his scoring prowess at his club has been a contrast to his form with the national team under Gernot Rohr scoring just once in 9 games despite being a top performer at club level.
Ahead of the AFCON qualifier doubleheader against Lesotho and the Benin Republic, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr named his 23 man list with the inform former Midtjylland forward listed as one of the standby players.
Onuachu’s struggles with the Super Eagles in previous games he featured is quite baffling, considering the excitement that greeted his first appearance with the national team plus the impressive form he’s currently in.
The job of every manager is to find a suitable position or fashion out tactics that would be suitable for their players in other to blend with the team approaches to every match. In Onuachu’s case, he hasn’t been fortunate enough to blend in with Rohr’s tactics. While at club level, Midtjylland plays to his strength.
However, due to Napoli’s players been restricted from traveling, the Genk forward made it through the backdoor to replace Gernot Rohr’s number one forward Victor Osimhen who hasn’t really hit the ground running with the ‘Partenopei‘, but when with the Eagles, he never fails to deliver.
It’s no doubt that the lanky striker has failed to deliver in his previous games, disappointing the ever-demanding Nigerian football enthusiasts with unforgiving backlashes from the fans. However, his prolific prowess with his club suggests otherwise and consistently makes a case for him to be integrated into the team with a different tactical approach that suits his style.
The era of a target man may have been long gone in football due to the advent of new tactics that have brought about a series of changes in the game. With managers preferring to go with a fast, skillful, or makeshift winger- kind of striker, instead of a target man.
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Looking at how Paul Onuachu plays with Genk upfront shows he’s one of the best target men in football, despite been perceived by many as a slow and old-fashioned kind of forward. However, John van den Bromm has been able to carve out a tactic that suits him which has been evident with his prolific form irrespective of his style of play.
Onuachu’s Super Eagle future might be on the knife-edge with Gernot Rohr not finding the right tactics that suit the Genk forward, especially with him not been consider as the go-to man despite his blistering runs of form in Belgium.
In recent times Rohr’s philosophy of vibrant attacking football with an emphasis on passing in the final third which requires the expertise of brilliant players to implement such tactics hasn’t really favored him.
Having a player in the mold of Onuachu gives Rohr another tactical option and an alternative style of play should the initial approach fails to work as expected, but the German tactician hasn’t really taken advantage of what the man could offer with a different opponent.
Onuachu’s presence in the Super Eagles team should be an added advantage in terms of variety when the normal approach of the manager fails. With an in-form striker on the bench, it could prove valuable, but in the former Midtjylland’s case, Gernot Rohr doesn’t seem to see him as a player that has a future with the national team.
Players in the mold of the Nigerian are quite physically imposing as the point man, though they may not offer the team excellent off-the-ball movement in some cases. However, they often find a way to provide an opportunity which the team could utilize when attacking or defending.
Onuachu’s inability to show a good turn of pace and smart footwork may have been one of the deficiencies that are affecting his chances of blending perfectly into the team.
However, the job of a manager is to help players blend in perfectly, and that’s exactly what Gernot Rohr should be doing. Not only for Onuachu but for every other player who are always finding it hard to replicate club form with the National Team.