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COVID-19 may force NFF to adopt pay cut for Rohr, Eagles

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) may have concluded plans to adopt a pay cut for members of the Super Eagles, including coach Gernot Rohr and backroom staff as a way of cushioning the impact of the coronavirus, which has affected sports and other businesses across the globe.

NFF President Amaju Pinnick had said on Monday that contract extension papers would be sent to Rohr next week, for him to study. The contract entailed that the coach would be paid in naira and would have to stay in Nigeria to monitor matches in the local league.

However, a board member of the NFF explained in a chat with The Guardian yesterday that the football house might be forced to adopt a pay cut as soon as possible to be able meet its financial wages for the players, coaches and backroom staff.

“As it stands, it might be difficult for the NFF to meet its financial obligations to the coaches, players and backroom staff by the time COVID-19 finally stop,” the official said. “The impact of the coronavirus is already being felt in virtually every aspect of the economy, and we may have to adjust.”

The NFF official explained that if the contract negotiation with Rohr scales through, there might be need ‘to adjust’ on his monthly salary of $55,000. “Unless we want to deceive ourselves, there is no way the NFF can continue with Rohr’s monthly salary of $55,000. There will be need for us to also adjust on the $5,000 winning bonuses for the players. Let us look at it from this angle. To execute one international match, we spend over N400million. We spend between $7,000 and $10,000 on business class ticket for each player (25 of them). There are also six or seven backroom staff.

“In our last match against Lesotho, we paid N110million to charter a plane. There is daily camp allowance of $200 per player, and if they win, their winning bonus is $5,000. Even when we played at home, to organise one match (accommodation and feeding) for the player, officials and other guest of the NFF cost us over N40million. The NFF gets less than N1billion from the federal government every year. Some other African countries don’t pay winning bonuses. They only pay players and coaches after qualifying for the Nations Cup or World Cup. Our players and coaches need to understand the current situation. Thank God for the good relationship the NFF is having with the sports ministry at the moment. We need to take some decisive steps before we embarrass ourselves,” the official said.

Efforts to speak with NFF President, Amaju Pinnick yesterday were unsuccessful.Meanwhile, despite the conditions handed to Rohr on Monday by the NFF, the coach said yesterday that he would continue with the job.

“I want to finish my work in Nigeria, I want to go to the next AFCON and World Cup, which means we must continue working together. I want to show my players and employers that I have the motivation to continue, ” he told ESPN yesterday.

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