NFF queries Gernot Rohr over alleged ‘breaches of contract’
• Explains delay in paying players’ bonuses
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday revealed that it has queried Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr over alleged several breaches of the contract he signed with the body, which forbids him to divulge to the public/media information on some aspects of the contract.
NFF’s Technical Director, Bitrus Bewarang said in Abuja yesterday that Rohr’s new-found love for disclosing information beyond technical matters to the media is highly unprofessional and against the spirit and letter of his contractual relationship with the football–ruling body.
“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.
“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,” Bewarang said.
Bewarang, who was assistant to Clemens Westerhof when the Super Eagles qualified Nigeria for her first-ever FIFA World Cup and won the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia in 1994, pinpointed Clause N of the Code of Conduct for coaches, which states that “coaches must not by their actions or inaction cause NFF or the Federal Government of Nigeria any harm, reputational damage or embarrassment, nor do anything directly or indirectly to undermine their contract with the NFF.”He added, “Coaches must not misrepresent the NFF or distort information to the media. They are precluded from imparting unauthorized information to the media.”
Bewarang also denied that the federation has not met its obligations to Rohr in terms of salary and other entitlements, adding, however, “as at today, the only money that the NFF is owing Mr. Rohr is the differential in his new contract (about $30,000) which our financial advisors have to align and interface with AITEO before payment (as the improved contract came into effect in the last half of the year), and which process was concluded on Friday last week. He will soon be paid.”
He explained the delay in paying the players’ bonus for the AFCON 2021 qualifiers against Benin Republic and Lesotho, saying, “we are in the process of negotiating with the players on a new template of bonus payments based on performance after qualification for championships. This is still being discussed.
“The NFF is very much alive to its responsibilities but will not tolerate disrespect for the body and the country Nigeria by anyone. NFF can never be happy owing coaches in its employ, which is the reason why the present administration took the unprecedented step of putting in place a sponsor specifically to pay coaches’ salaries.”The technical director revealed that the NFF paid all the national team coaches their salaries last week, adding, “We are putting in place mechanism to ensure we don’t owe them going forward.”
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