The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have issued a query to Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr for speaking publicly about the details of his contract and owed wages.
It has often been reported that the NFF are yet to kick off contract renewal talks with Rohr over his deal that will expire in mid-2020 while reports that the Super Eagles coach is being owed some months’ wages have always filtered to the public.
Rohr has never stated these claims directly to the public until a recent interview where he spoke on his contract situation.
The interview has infuriated the NFF who have now queried the coach for breaches of contract which forbids him to publicly state the details of his contract.
“The Nigeria Football Federation says it has asked Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Mr Gernot Rohr to explain reasons behind several breaches of the contract that he signed with the body, which forbids him to divulge to the public/media information on some aspects of the contract,” the NFF said in a statement on their website on Wednesday, November 27.
“In as much as we appreciate the work that Mr Rohr has been doing with the Super Eagles in the past 40 months, his recent penchant for breaching provisions of the contract he signed with the NFF and the Code of Conduct for coaches is not good for the relationship,” NFF’s Technical Director, Bitrus Bewarang is quoted to say on the federation's website.
“The NFF wishes that Mr Rohr continues in the job because of the team he is building for Nigeria which looks promising and has earned some good results since he took charge, but he cannot continue to nonchalantly cause the NFF as a body, and Nigeria as a nation, reputational damage through his utterances and actions.”
The query came after a recent interview where Rohr complained about the delay in the talks of his contract extension and outstanding wages.
In the interview he granted to Inside World Football, the German coach revealed that NFF president Amaju Pinnick has promised to kick off renewal talks in January 2020.
Rohr, however, expressed his frustration over the time it would take for the NFF to give him the renewal and revealed that he is free to enter into a pre-contract agreement with any club or national team.
“The President of the Nigeria Football Federation has told me that we will sit down in January 2020 for a discussion and the conclusion of the extension of my contract, which runs out on the 30th of June,” Rohr said in the interview.
“But I am surprised that the federation are taking their time to conclude a contract. And to be honest, I am also surprised that when I was given a contract extension after qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, it was only extended until July 2020, which is right in the middle of qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. That is not normal and it is only the federation that can explain the reason for this,” the Super Eagles also said.
Rohr also claimed in the interview that he is being owed close to N35.8m ($100,000) in bonuses and allowances.
“I preferred to get Jean-Jacques involved because it got to a stage that I didn’t want to be speaking to the federation about money all the time. It got tiring… I wanted to take my mind away from money and simply focus on my job and let him deal with the issues off the field,” Rohr said.
The NFF in their statement, however, denied Rohr’s claim, stating that they only owe the Super Eagles coach N10.7m ($30,000)
“As at today, the only money that the NFF is owing Mr Rohr is the differential in his new contract (about $30,000). He will soon be paid,” the NFF said in their statement.
“Mr Rohr has talked about bonus from the 2019 AFCON, which is not contractual but discretionary on the part of the Federation.
“The present NFF started the policy of paying players a percentage of tournament bonus during the 2018 FIFA World Cup just to motivate them, outside their bonuses and allowances.”
“The NFF is very much alive to its responsibilities but will not tolerate disrespect for the body and the country Nigeria by anyone,” they further said.
The issue of Rohr’s contract extension has been in the news for a while but Pinnick in an interview earlier in November revealed that the NFF intend to give the coach a new contract under certain conditions.