Nigeria sacks Gernot Rohr as Super Eagles head coach

Nigeria's national team coach Gernot Rohr celebrates after receiving a medal for winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations third place final soccer between Tunisia and Nigeria at the Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo, Egypt, on 17 July 2019. (Photo by Ahmed Awaad/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has sacked Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr following a series of disappointing performances despite the side advancing to the final round of qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“The relationship between the Nigeria Football Federation and Mr. Rohr has come to an end. We thank him for his services to the Super Eagles and Nigeria,” a statement from general secretary Mohammed Sanusi said.

FILE PHOTO: Former Nigeria national team coach Gernot Rohr. /Getty Images

Rohr’s dismissal comes in the wake of speculation over the past fortnight that he had been removed from the position he had held since August 2016. Having been at the helm for close to five-and-a-half years, Rohr was Nigeria’s longest-serving coach.

He came under intense pressure from fans and local media following a home loss to the Central Africa Republic and a draw against Cape Verde in their final group games.

Reports indicate that an urgent meeting was held in the aftermath of the qualifiers where Rohr was presented with an option to resign but it was rejected.

Despite a sometimes rocky relationship with the NFF, Rohr led Nigeria to the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, securing a third-place finish in the latter tournament. He also oversaw Nigeria’s qualification for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and also remained on course to lead them to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The NFF has named the federation’s technical director Augustine Eguavoen as Rohr’s interim replacement until a permanent appointment is made.

Eguavoen will be assisted by three members of Rohr’s technical staff, Salisu Yusuf, Joseph Yobo and Aloysius Agu.

The 56-year-old is a former national team captain and has previously served in the interim role before, in 2010 between the tenures of Lars Lagerback and Samson Siasia respectively.

Eguavoen also led Nigeria to a third-place finish at the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)