Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr says he knows why the Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick, snubbed him during the bronze medal presentation ceremony at the just-concluded 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
A video of the incidence showing Pinnick avoiding Rohr’s handshake went viral online, with close football followers in the country suggesting there was a rift between the two.
In an exclusive interview with Sports Extra, Rohr admitted seeing the video and offered an insight on what could have led to the incident.
“Yes, I saw it (video), somebody sent it immediately to me, the people did not understand (what happened),” Rohr told Sports Extra.
“Ask the president (Pinnick) why he did it, I didn’t do anything, I wanted to shake him. So you must ask him why he did it.
“I watched the video again when Victor Ikpeba was here (his hotel), we were laughing about it.”
He added, “The president did not explain to me but I know exactly what happened, because I was the last one on the stage. Before me was Tunde, my assistant, who wanted to receive the medal from Pinnick and Pinnick said, ‘No, no, I will start from you (Rohr).’
“There was Constant (Omari), CAF vice president, and he was happy to see me and took me in his arms and gave me the medal, I could not say no. I didn’t even know that Pinnick wanted to give me the medal with him, nobody told me.
“But I heard it after because Pinninck told Tunde that he wanted to present the medal to me, so he was a little bit worried about this situation.
“But I only understood it after. He (Pinnick) went to Constant and asked why he gave me the medal because he wanted to give it to me. But I understand that it was joy for him to give me the medal because we had face-to-face conversation in Cairo, where we could speak about all these problems.
“So, there was no problem between us at that moment, the misunderstanding was unfortunate.”
The former Bordeaux manager wondered why a picture of him and Pinnick standing side-by-side after the incidence didn’t get the same publicity as the video .
“I joined the players for the photo (session), I stayed on the stage and said, “President, come (and join us).’ The photographers could see us (Rohr and Pinnick) behind the players but I didn’t see all these photos, they only shot this video, so many bloggers here in Nigeria.”