Two top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) claim Harry Redknapp was never considered as a replacement for Gernot Rohr, insisting the decision would have meant “returning the Eagles to the 1980s”.
Reports that had begun circulating on Tuesday tipped the ex-Portsmouth, Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers boss for a return to management as Rohr’s successor should the latter not agree terms on a new deal.
Redknapp’s last job was at Birmingham City in 2017, where he was axed following six straight defeats in all competitions. His only international experience was managing Jordan in 2016.
However, two key figures in the Nigeria Football Federation have claimed that the reports are untrue as the NFF never thought of replacing Rohr.
“The news is all a hoax as some people are trying to be mischievous,” the first source told Goal.
“Even if Nigeria ever thought of having a new coach, it would definitely not have been Redknapp. Hiring him would mean returning the Super Eagles to the 1980s, which is ridiculous.
“Our boys haven’t done badly under Gernot Rohr, so why should we dump him at this critical moment?
“We in the NFF believe in him and we will let him continue with his good work for the next few years.”
This was echoed by another NFF chief, who added: “I don’t know about this. Everyone has been calling me about this and I am in my house under lockdown.
“The only thing that I know is that we just extended Gernot Rohr’s contract. We sent him an agreement and he will reply to the General Secretary.
“As far as I know, we have not discussed anything about another coach and we don’t know where this is coming from.”
Meanwhile, president Amaju Pinnick put an end to the gossip by disclosing the German would continue as the head coach of the three-time African champions.
“I'm happy to announce the NFF and coach Gernot Rohr have concluded all contractual discussions and he will stay on as coach of the Super Eagles,” Pinnick tweeted.
“We have always had confidence in his abilities and we are confident that the national team can only go higher from here.”
Rohr took over from Sunday Oliseh in 2016 and has since led the Super Eagles to the FIFA World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations.