Nigeria Football Federation President, Amaju Pinnick has directed Super Eagles’ Manager, Gernot Rohr to monitor domestic competitions for players for his team. Pinnick said the continued dependence on players based overseas was undermining the development of Nigerian football, noting that inviting 23 foreign-based stars for a match against lowly-rated teams like Seychelles was a waste of resources.
Speaking on a radio programme monitored in Lagos yesterday, Pinnick agreed that talents abound in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), adding that they needed encouragement to get to the desired level.
He said, “Gernot Rohr’s continuous focus on foreign-based players for national team’s assignments is not right. If he uses foreign-based players against a team like Seychelles, I wonder what would happen when we play against big teams like Cameroon and the others.
“Rohr should imitate Super Falcons’ coach, who is always in the country sourcing for domestic talents for his team.”
Pinnick also revealed that he had been told of Rohr’s reservations about Super Eagles playing an international friendly against Uganda in Asaba, adding, however, that the coach had no right to choose the venue Nigeria’s senior national team would play their matches.
“Rohr has not told me anything on the Asaba venue yet. Based on the situation on ground, when a state government decides to sponsor about 70 per cent of a game, it will go a long way to settle some issues. With my experience as a football administrator, with due respect to the coach, the Asaba pitch is okay for the Super Eagles to play. I will call Rohr to clarify the statement,” he added.
The NFF president disclosed that Coach Salisu Yusuf would return to his job as Super Eagles’ assistant coach after serving his suspension over alleged bribery.
“Salisu Yusuf would come back as the Eagles assistant coach after his suspension. He still has a contract with the NFF.
“It is not that I am supporting Salisu Yusuf for what he did. In life, there is nobody that has not fallen short of anything one way or the other. The coach has realised his mistakes and he needs to be forgiven.
“If God could forgive us for our sins, who are we as human beings not to forgive others. In the Bible, Jesus Christ told the people, whoever had not committed sin before should cast the first stone on a woman who committed sin. That is a symbol of forgiveness,” he said.