Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has called for an overhaul of the Super Eagles technical and administrative structure to achieve better results. The minister gave the order on Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials to review the Technical Report of the Nigeria/Sierra Leone AFCON Qualifiers and other matters.
Special Adviser to the minister, John Joshua-Akanji, who disclosed this in a statement, stressed the need to adhere strictly to the terms of contact of Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr, especially on performance and development of the game. “The recent dismal performance of the Super Eagles in their qualifiers against Sierra Leone has raised a few concerns and brought to fore, the need to do a quick critique.
“The government, while concerned about the dismal performance and non-discernible pattern of play and team harmony in the Super Eagles, is looking beyond the outcome of Nigeria versus Sierra Leone matches and AFCON. “We are looking at the present and future administration of football that speaks to the development of the front room and backroom,” he said.
Dare emphasised the need for the NFF to hold Rohr to the terms of his contract. “The NFF must tightly hold the Technical Adviser to the KPIs in his contract. Thus, we cannot wait for those conditions to come to life before we tighten the screws or demand higher or better performance, better technical depth, better player mix, and team harmony, and a functional national team.
“The Federal Government will ask the tough and relevant questions. The NFF should do the same. The right of Nigerians to ask of government and indeed NFF explanations for dismal performances and football administration cannot be simply characterised as interference. “On our part, we will work to support the NFF but we will also demand answers and changes too on behalf of Nigerians.
“CAF and FIFA, while we appreciate their working partnerships, are expected to support Nigeria in its quest to ensure an effectual football administration. “Football is now business and politics, a tool of diplomacy, Governments are more than interested in how it’s run. The FGN is interested even beyond that, Football is a source of national pride, a rallying point and promoter of peace and unity. Nigeria at this point must use the opportunity of the outcome of the Nigeria/Sierra Leone match to X-ray other factors beyond the technical adviser that must have contributed to the dismal performance,” he added.
Earlier, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, while providing a background to what happened, assured the minister that NFF would be more proactive going forward. He said a few changes and adjustments as discussed and suggested by the ministry will be put into motion. Pinnick said some of the changes to the team would include a physical trainer, nutritionist, a psychologist, and at least two-match readers. He also emphasised the need to inject three to four home-based players into the team, picked from the professional league, while Rohr must-watch weekly NPFL games and evolve a scientific template to benchmark the performance of the team.