Eguavoen supports Rohr, wants new clause in fresh deal
• Coach denies comparing Eze to Ejaria
Former Super Eagles’ Coach, Augustine Eguavoen believes Gernot Rohr deserves to be offered a new contract by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for the work he has done with the national team since his appointment as coach, reports allnigeriasoccer.com.
On the other hand, the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner and two-time World Cupper revealed that he is not comfortable with the fact that Rohr does not live in Nigeria and made reference to one of the most successful Nigeria coaches, Clemens Westerhof, who was accommodated in Ikeja during his days with the Super Eagles.
With Rohr’s current deal with the NFF set to run out in the next six months, his contract situation has been a subject of discussion in recent weeks and the former Bayern Munich defender can start discussing with interested clubs and countries if an agreement is not reached next month.
“Yes, he does deserve a new contract. The only thing I am not too comfortable with is his staying out of the country,’’ Eguavoen said.“When Westerhof was our coach then he had his residence in Ikeja, very close to Airways ground, a duplex was hired for him for a long period of time.“If he needs to succeed or keep succeeding as he has done well so far, he needs to stay here long-term. If it’s short-term, then we are going to have problems.
“He has done well, he deserves a new contract,” he said.On the clamour for a local coach to be in charge of the country’s senior national team, Eguavoen said, “‘Well, I don’t know about that. So far so good he has done well. If you look at the team, completely overhauled, average age now is quite young so I think he’s towing the right path, we should just encourage him.
“However, if it is not going to work, when couples marry and there’s always a problem, the end thing is a divorce amicably. “If it is going to work, they have to understand each other, accept one other and then move on. The sooner the better.”Meanwhile, Rohr denied comparing QPR midfielder Eberechi Eze to Reading star, Ovie Ejaria, as Nigeria works to secure their services for the national team.
Both players, who ply their trade in the Championship, are of Nigerian descent and are eligible to play for either the Super Eagles or England – the country where they were born.As part of efforts to secure their allegiance, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick has held meetings with Eze, who has scored nine league goals this term.
Earlier this week, there were reports quoting Rohr saying he prefers Liverpool loanee Ejaria to Eze, but the German coach described it as a false statement and calls for respect of his relationship with the Nigerian media.“My attention has been drawn to some statements online that I have described Reading FC player Ovie Ejaria as a better player than Queens Park Rangers’ Ebere Eze and so the NFF should get him in the team immediately,” Rohr said.
“This is totally false and very disrespectful to both players. I never compare players and I have not asked the NFF to make any approach for the player in question.“I will never ask the NFF publicly to approach any player for our team. We have our processes and it certainly doesn’t include sharing such information publicly.
“Furthermore, I think there must be restraint in press statements purportedly quoting me and my person in terms of interviews.“I share a very good relationship with the media in Nigeria but this must not be abused to the extent of misquoting me and making wrong claims about my person.”