Russia 2018: Pinnick denies rift with Rohr

NFF Chairman, Amaju Pinnick
NFF Chairman, Amaju Pinnick

The Nigeria Football Federation has denied any form of conflict in interest between it and the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, over preparatory matches for the national team ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup.

NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, on Monday in Lagos labeled reports suggesting that Rohr unilaterally turned down friendly games with Chile and Morocco as false.

Media reports suggest that Rohr refused to accept friendly games for the Super Eagles against Chile and Morocco against the wish of the NFF.

Pinnick in a chat with journalists in Lagos disclosed that the decision of the coach on friendly games for the team was agreed on based on tactical and technical reasons.

He added that the tune-up games for the Eagles have been carefully selected to get the best of results in the World Cup proper.

“Most countries are playing three games before the world cup but the super eagles are playing five and care must be taken not to tire out the players before the world cup kicks off,” he said.

“We are taking on Poland and Serbia on March 23 and 27 respectively, Congo on May 28, England on June 2 and Czech Republic on June 6.

“There are so many considerations before a team can take on friendly matches. The NFF did not interfere and will not interfere in issues of selections and matches by the coach.

“The coach wanted a typical African traditional style of pay. Morocco and Chile has never been in the picture for the friendly games,” he added.

Beyond participating at the World Cup in Russia, Pinnick maintains that the NFF are doing all within its reach to make Nigeria a superpower in the round leather game.

“Nigeria is having global recognition again in sports and we want to ensure that by 2022, Nigeria will have the best football team in the World.

“We have plans to build football houses across the federation for trainings. There will be two standard pitches in each state to catch them young and restore the 1994 glory to Nigeria,” he said.

The Super Eagles will be making their sixth World Cup appearance in Russia since debuting in the 1994 edition.


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