. . . As Gernot Rohr and Joseph Yobo disagree
By Alexander Adejoh
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) last Wednesday announced former Everton and Fenerbahce defender Joseph Yobo as the new Super Eagles assistant coach to work under Gernot Rohr but the German boss is unhappy with the dismissal of his former assistant Imama Amapakabo.
Yobo was said to have played 101 times for the national team and won the AFCON 2013 title for the Super Eagles although his appointment as Super Eagles assistant manager may have not gone down well with chief coach Rohr.
Amapakabo was relieved of his duties after a dismal performance with the Nigerian U23 team and the Super Eagles Team B and the German technical adviser is not happy with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in response to the sacking the former Enugu Rangers boss.
‘The NFF has the right to pick one assistant coach for my staff, so they are the ones to communicate the reasons for the appointment, not myself.
‘I was informed by Amaju Pinnick, in a telephone call, before it was made public. I do not know why Amapakabo was removed. I worked very well with him. He did a very good job with me.
‘I regret his departure. But since the NFF have the right to take this decision, there is nothing that I can do about it,’ Rohr said.
For his part the head of the country’s football body, Amaju Pinnick, has backed the former Super Eagles captain to shine in his new role as part of Gernot Rohr’s backroom staff.
The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), said Yobo could become the next Nigerian to win the Africa Cup of Nations as a player and coach.
‘The concept behind this is to nurture and condition former captain Joseph Yobo to provide leadership and mentorship for the young team,’ Pinnick said.
‘He has an incredible experience playing for some of Europe’s biggest clubs. He is one of our most-capped players ever and also won the Nations Cup.
‘I believe that as Nigerians we have a chance to make a positive step forward and it’s important to give him the opportunity to succeed.
‘Yes FIFA rules say that the head coach and first assistant coach must have coaching licenses, but Yobo is not the first assistant coach.
‘We can tap into his wealth of knowledge because we cannot keep relying on foreigners as coaches all the time. We as a nation can help build one of our own. That was how Stephen Keshi started.
‘Who says Yobo can’t be the next Nigerian to win the Nations Cup as player and coach?. He added.