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Pinnick: How NFF Consulted Wenger, Others To Recommend Coach For Super Eagles

Pinnick: How NFF Consulted Wenger, Others To Recommend Coach For Super Eagles

By James ‎Agberebi:
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick has revealed how he and his board ran to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger when they were in search of a new coach for the Super Eagles.

Pinnick disclosed this during the launching of the short code *1945#, a campaign by the NFF ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup which was held in Lagos on Monday.


During his speech at the event, Pinnick also gave a chronology of how the Super Eagles secured the 2018 FIFA World Cup ticket, the politics that was played and how Gernot Rohr was finally appointed.

“It has been a tortious journey. Remember we did not qualify for the last two Nations Cup,” Pinnick began.

Zenith Ziva

“And as head of the federation, we always want to take responsibility, we don’t want to apportion blame. We don’t want to tell the world that Chad pulled out last meeting, that a country, that won the AFCON back-to-back, are even more eager. After we decided that we were condemned to qualify for the World Cup.

So what did we do? Between the three of us; Shehu Dikko, Seyi Akinwunmi and myself, we held series of meetings in my house and we looked at the A to Z of everything that could be an impediment to our qualifying for the World Cup.

“We looked at the politics of the game. We looked at the welfare of the players. We looked at the technical crew. We looked at so many things.

“Before I had my ambition of going to CAF executive, I remember Seyi told me that whether I thought if Issa Hayatou was there we would qualify? For two nights I slept and was thinking about it. Cameroon was in our
group, and this was a man who was 71-years-old and possibly if he wins the election, it will be his last time and could be a parting gift to Cameroon off the field.

“We looked at Algeria, they had the best record, they had gone about 13 games unbeaten. We looked at Zambia, AFCON winners. And I saw in the history of World Cup qualifier, the group that we were in, it was the toughest group ever in the history of the World Cup qualifiers any where in the world. Having three of the countries at the last World Cup in Brazil and also four AFCON winners with very rich form. We looked at all these and said we must overcome this.

“First thing we did was getting a coach. Of course. We all remember the name of the first coach Paul Le Guen. To us it was a blessing in disguise because when we decided again
that we wanted a coach, and everybody know that I am an Arsenal supporter, we tried to reach out to Arsene Wenger for a consultation on a coach. We tried to reach out to Gerard Houllier (former Liverpool and France coach). I reached out to so many coaches and technical experts, and one name came to their fore and that was Gernot Rohr.

“I remember someone said whether Rohr would want to leave the lucrative job he had with the German Federation, heading one of their technical groups, to come to Nigeria. He is a very comfortable coach. He has two hotels and he is very happy. Even at a point he was going to coach Madagascar free of charge because his wife happens to come from Madagascar. And
I said I will pray over it and I believe he will come and that was when the journey began.”

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  • Yes Wenger is a good scout thanks for the recommendation

  • The boss good talk

  • Very Good at scouting but….

  • Tony Iloka 4 years ago

    Didn’t even know our mercurial NFF BOSS is a fellow gunner.

  • We Owe Wenger One For This Good Deed..Thanks Arsene !!

  • Do not make the mistake of judging a man by his/her appearance. Appearance would have made Prophet Samuel to anoint one of his more handsome brothers until God intervened and David who later became a king was anointed. Goliath judged David by his appearance and ended disastrously for him. Potiphar’s judged Joseph by his appearance and she ended up being a laughing stock for thousands of years now. Some so call Christians judged the Apostle Paul by his appearance and today we are reading his powerful messages in 13 Bible books written by him. Let any one of his fellow World Cup coaches judge Gernot Roth by his appearance, they will be hit by his sledgehammer before they know it. Same with Amaju Pinnick. When he was running for the position of NFF President, his fellow runners judged him by his appearance and they bit the dust. One if them is even banned for how many years I can’t remember.

  • pls can anyone help me i want to become a footballer