The Nigeria Football Federation has clarified a statement credited to Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr on members of the Nigeria media, assuring that the tactician was quoted out of context in the said report.
President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick observed that Rohr has built a wonderful relationship with Nigerians across various sectors and demographics and by nature, is not one to talk down on media persons whom he considers critical stakeholders, just as the NFF (Rohr’s employers) have high regard for the media.
“Gernot Rohr shares our respect and regard for the media and would not make derogatory statements about the most vibrant media professionals on the African continent.
“I have spoken to him and he flatly denied calling members of the Nigeria media corrupt. Of course, he admitted saying in the said interview that some persons known to work in the media acted as agents and put pressure on his crew to include certain players in his World Cup squad. He did not say anyone was corrupt. He talked about pressure from certain quarters and some media representatives who posed as agents.”
Pinnick added that the Nigeria Football Federation has been doing everything possible to ensure an excellent spirit in the team camp, including providing every variable necessary for the team to lodge, train and travel in comfort in order to achieve the highest level of preparedness possible to do the nation proud in Russia. “We expect other Nigerians from all walks of life to join hands with the NFF in supporting the team in whichever way they can.”
In his own reaction, Gernot Rohr told thenff.com: “I have the utmost respect for Nigerian journalists, with whom I have had a warm relationship over the past two years that I have been in charge of this wonderful team (Super Eagles). Over the course of the past two years, I have met so many brilliant Nigerians including journalists who have offered great ideas and suggestions, but as in every profession, there are a number of bad eggs.
“For instance, someone reported that my captain, John Mikel Obi and his deputy, Ogenyi Onazi are at war, creating factions in camp. This is far from the truth. The other day, another person reported that I took money to include some players in the team. We are here preparing to do the country proud and someone come up with these lies. As the head of this team, I have a responsibility to protect the players and keep the family together and maintain the unity and solidarity.”