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 By Colin Udoh

NFF picks Gernot Rohr as new national team manager

Gernot Rohr, right, with NFF Technical Commiittee chairman Chris Green in Abuja on Saturday.

After failing to land Paul Le Guen, the Nigerian Football Federation have chosen Gernot Rohr to take charge as manager of the senior men's national team.

On Saturday, the NFF's Technical and Development Committee met with Rohr and recommended his candidature to the Executive Board. Committee vice-chairman Ahmed Yusuf Fresh said the team was convinced of the former German defender's suitability for the job after a long session with him in Abuja.

"The committee was impressed with Mr. Rohr's profile and current activities for the German Football Federation (DFB), so we invited him to Nigeria for exhaustive deliberations," said Fresh. "He was very positive, showed great interest in the job and is ready and willing to live in Nigeria. He is also willing to work with indigenous Nigerian coaches and with the committee and believes the Super Eagles can qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which is very important to the NFF. He swayed the committee with his calmness, good knowledge of the African terrain, focus and maturity."

Rohr, 63, played for Bordeaux in France as a defender and later, as coach, took the team to the 1996 UEFA Cup final where they lost to Bayern Munich. The German also coached top Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel and Nantes before managing the national teams of Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso. He was shortlisted for the job of head coach of Guinea only last month.

"Mr. Rohr has the character and confidence to take the Super Eagles to new heights of excellence," said Fresh. "He has rich knowledge of both sub-Saharan and North African terrains and truly impressed the committee.

"Our job is to recommend him to the board, which we have done," he continued. "The NFF legal department is working on the final draft of the contract but we have agreed on a range of terms and conditions. The secretariat will present the full contract to Mr. Rohr in the following days and the executive board will contact Mr. Rohr for the final negotiations."

Nigeria's next game is on Sept. 2, an African Nations Cup qualifier vs. Tanzania. The following month the Super Eagles face Tanzania as the final round of World Cup qualifying begins for African countries.

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