SUPER Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has promised Nigerian football fans that he will win the 2021 African Cup of Nations as a payback for the recent extension of his contract until after the 2022 World Cup.
Last month, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) extended Mr Rohr’s contract for a second two-year tenure, with a mandate that he wins the Nations Cup and qualifies for the next World Cup. Under the terms of the new contract, Mr Rohr will earn $49,000 a month instead of the $55,000 stipulated in his previous contract and he will live in Nigeria for at least 10 months a year.
Mr Rohr, 66, will also now be paid in naira and will pay income tax on his earnings. He has also agreed to scout for talent locally to see if he can uncover any hidden gems who might be good enough to play for the Super Eagles.
“This is a special job because this is my team, I built it with my staff. It’s a very young team but the mission is not finished yet, so we want to continue.
“We all have to make sacrifices and I will be the first. Let’s qualify for (the Nations Cup) and then we want to win it,” Mr Rohr added.
He said the target is to be champions of Africa again. Nigeria’s Super Eagles have won the Africa Cup of Nations three times in 1980, 1994 and 2013 and are hoping to lift the trophy again at Cameroon 2021 if it takes place next year.
Mr Rohr added: “We have a good team, we’re now number three in Africa. When I arrived in 2016, we were number 13. We have worked together for the past four years and I hope we can progress.”
Last year, Mr Rohr led Nigeria to third place at last year’s Africa Cup in Egypt, where they lost 2-1 to eventual champions Algeria in the semi-finals after conceding a stoppage-time goal. His team now top their qualifying group for the 2021 Nations Cup slated for Cameroon with six points after winning their first two games against Benin Republic and Lesotho.
In his four years in charge of the Super Eagles, Mr Rohr has faced criticism for overlooking players based in Nigeria for those in Europe. Although the NFF have ordered him to now pick players from the domestic league, Mr Rohr has insisted only the best will make his squad.
He added: “I pick the best players and I don’t do it alone. We have to take the best players no matter where they are coming from. We have very good young players, so it’s difficult for the local players to break into the team.”