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President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has admitted that hiring Gernot Rohr as head coach of the Super Eagles and fighting against Issa Hayatou’s continued stay as CAF president, were the two biggest risks he has taken as a football administrator.

Pinnick made this known to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.

The former Delta FA chief brought in Rohr as Sunday Oliseh’s permanent replacement, while he publicly backed Malagasy FA President Ahmad Ahmad in last month’s CAF presidential elections.

“Hiring Gernot Rohr was a gamble we the NFF Executive Committee took to save our national team after local coaches failed to deliver. Rohr has given our football hope with his unbeaten run since he took charge, and it will be mission accomplished when we get a World Cup ticket,” he said.

Gernot Rohr and NFF Technical Committee Chairman, Chris Green after he was engaged in June 2016
Gernot Rohr and NFF Technical Committee Chairman, Chris Green after he was engaged in June 2016

“The other gamble we took was me spearheading the campaign to install a new leadership in CAF. It was a decision by a group who wanted a change from the old tradition of managing the game in Africa. I know the backlash could have been terrible if we had failed, but thank God we succeeded,” the CAF Executive committee member said.

Pinnick was at the forefront following Hayatou's removal as CAF President after 29 years
Pinnick was at the forefront following Hayatou’s removal as CAF President after 29 years

He continued: “We are now in charge of affairs in CAF, and it can only rub off positively on Nigeria and Africa. Our loyalty to Ahmad Ahmad is 100 percent and by the end of the eight years, we would have taken African football to the next level.”

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