Ahead of Wednesday’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Squirrels of Benin Republic, Gernot Rohr, the Super Eagles head coach, has insisted that officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will neither dictate his invitation of players nor his team selection for matches.
Rohr stated this while fielding questions from journalists on Tuesday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, regarding the clauses to be inserted in his new contract.
The Franco-German tactician’s contract with the NFF is due to expire in June 2020, but Amaju Pinnick, NFF President, has hinted that the federation may likely renew the coach’s contract.
Pinnick on Monday said parts of conditions of the probable new contract would mandate the coach to reside in Nigeria and monitor domestic league matches to select local players.
Asked about the NFF President’s comment, Rohr admitted that while his selection style might make some persons unhappy, he only chooses the right players based on current form and not sentiments.
He said: “I know he (Pinnick) sometimes has a different opinion like me but then, it is football. I never accept it to make a choice coming from the officials; my choice is the choice of sports arguments only, to take the best players.
“Unfortunately, we could not take more players from the local league because they did not play, so it was difficult for them to be fit.
“I know that some people cannot be happy about my choice but I can tell you it is my choice, it is always honest.”
He, however, insisted that his main target is to qualify the country for the AFCON tournament scheduled to hold in Cameroon, stating that there was ample time to negotiate the renewal of his contract with the NFF officials.
“I have to work, the contract is not a problem. I think by the end of the year, I will discuss with the NFF. No distraction for me, but it’s time for us to have a new project to win the next AFCON, we need to be at the next World Cup as well,” he said.
Enyimba defender, Ifeanyi Anaemena, is the only player who made Rohr’s 23-man squad from the domestic league after replacing Bryan Idowu for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches.