The German tactician’s current deal expires in less than three months, yet no one can say with certainty why the Nigeria Football Federation has not offered the former Bordeaux manager a new contract.
Gernot Rohr has been in charge of the Nigerian national football team since August 2016, and while he has won nothing with the team during that time, it is clear that he continues to enjoy the goodwill of many Super Eagles fans, home and abroad.
A lot of supporters will not object to the idea of offering the 66-year-old a new two-year contract.
But is Rohr truly deserving of a new contract?
Rohr has taken Nigeria to two major tournaments and returned with mixed results.
The former Gabon coach oversaw Nigeria’s tame showing at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, where the Super Eagles were knocked out in the group stage.
Yes, the team defeated Iceland thanks to two beautiful Ahmed Musa goals, but they couldn’t get to the knockout rounds after losing to both Argentina and eventual runners-up Croatia.
It should, however, be recalled that Rohr was the man who guided Nigeria to qualify for the tournament in the first place, and with a game to spare.
Again, some people may have taken offence that Rohr’s side only managed a third-place finish at the CAF African Cup of Nations held in Egypt last year.
But he satisfied his bosses at the Glass House who gave him the minimum target of taking the team to the semi-final stage of the competition.
Even the stats are kind to the former Niger Republic coach. In the 49 games, he has taken charge of the Super Eagles, Rohr has guided the team to 29 wins, 11 draws and only nine losses.
This shows that he may not have been an excellent gaffer, but he has done better than many of the coaches this country appointed in recent years.
He has about done just enough to deserve to continue in his role.
The NFF know that. Amaju Pinnick, President of that football body, recognises it as well.
Several times Mr Pinnick has revealed his pleasure at the excellent work Rohr is doing with the three-time African champions.
In December, he disclosed that the NFF would meet with the German tactician early this year and thrash out the details of a new deal.
It’s mid-way into March, but the Federation is undecided as to whether Rohr should be handed a new contract.
So, why is the Nigeria Football Federation scared?
Is the NFF scared of the bunch of ex-internationals who have publicly made known their disgust at the NFF’s continued association with a foreign manager?
One would expect a seasoned administrator like Mr Pinnick to know that critics are major stakeholders in football. They will talk. But it is up to the NFF to act – and in the best interest of the nation.
Is it Rohr himself that the NFF fear?
It is no longer news that the NFF plans to introduce new terms to the coach’s current contract, including having him reside in the country, watch weekly matches of the Nigeria Professional Football League, and help in the development of indigenous coaches.
The former Bayern Munich defender will likely frown at some of these clauses, but as his employers, the NFF are duty-bound to place all their cards before him.
It’s then up to the man to either reject or accept the offerings.
Or does the NFF have their own evil plans brewing in the background?
It’s not beyond the football body to drag its feet until a couple of weeks before the expiration of Rohr’s contract, by which time they finally throw him several clusters of unfavourable clauses.
The man rejects the new terms, he is set aside quickly, and another foreigner is brought in to take his place.
And Rohr would have been punished for supporting the players against the NFF during the bonus row at the 2019 AFCON.
Rohr is adamant that he won’t beg for a new contract despite making it clear that he would love to continue as the Super Eagles coach.
The NFF, though, is either too scared or too mischievous to call the tactician to a clear-the-air meeting.
And with the coronavirus outbreak shutting down football for a few more weeks, this cold war is nowhere near its end.