Ali Baba Says Nigeria Football Going Nowhere With Gernot Rohr


The German tactician has been in charge of the Nigerian football national team since 2016, but there’s no time he has faced more calls for his sack than now

Gernot Rohr has not been as successful as any of Fanny Amun and Clemence Westerhof and has not worked as hard as Sunday Oliseh, says one of Nigeria’s foremost stand-up comedians, Atunyota Akpobome.

Akpobome, popularly known as Ali Baba, is also displeased that the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, gave the former Bordeaux manager a contract extension with a $2 million compensation clause. 

Despite the country standing to lose in financial terms in the event of terminating Rohr’s contract before its two-year expiration date, Ali Baba insists the former Gabon coach be sacked.

Since securing his job for another couple of years, Rohr has led the Super Eagles to four matches without winning any.

Nigeria lost to African champions Algeria and drew one-all with Tunisia in friendly games played in Austria in October.

Three-time continental kings then managed two disappointing draws against lowly Sierra Leone in November, with one of those ties ending 4-4 after leading four-nil within the opening half-hour.

Rohr has faced scrutiny following the poor run, and Ali Baba has added his voice to the growing call for the German’s sack.

Asked in an interview with Punch if he supported the call for Rohr’s sack, Alibaba responded: “Yes, sir. Let me put it this way, Gernot Rohr is a friend.

“I met him a few times through Amaju Pinnick, I believe our football is not going anywhere with all the clauses that were signed with him.

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“If (Sunday) Oliseh had such clauses, he would work tirelessly. Clemence Westerhof never had such, and he is one the most successful coaches we had. You heard Emmanuel Amuneke saying he can’t be an assistant to him.

“Our coach shouldn’t wait until there is a match before he starts reaching out to players. He should scout and get homegrown players that will play always.

“It’s not just waiting for 100 percent foreign players. We are not there yet at all. Even Fanny Amun is still more successful than Rohr.”

Rohr came on as Nigeria’s head coach after the country missed out on back to back African Cup of Nations tournaments in 2015 and 2017 and led the 2013 champions to a third-place finish at the 2019 Afcon.

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