Rohr’s Sack: Stakeholders blame NFF over N433m FIFA fine for ‘breach of contract’
The country’s football stakeholders, yesterday, lambasted the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) over an alleged fine of $1,045,000 (about N433,873), which world football governing body, FIFA, imposed on the country for the unceremonious dismissal of German coach, Gernot Rohr, in December last year.
Rohr, who qualified the Super Eagles for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), as well as the final round of Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, was sent packing on the eve of the showpiece in Cameroun following complaints by some Nigerians that his team was not inspiring enough.
A media report yesterday reported that FIFA ordered Nigeria to pay Rohr a princely sum of $1,045,000 (about N 433,873,550.00) over his unlawful dismissal.
Quoting a close confidant of Rohr, the report stated that FIFA had already ruled on the case with claims that the NFF had no ‘justifiable reason’ to have terminated his contract.
Reacting to the development, former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu, described it as ‘very sad.’
“If it is true that FIFA has fined Nigeria such a huge amount of money, it goes to show that officials of the present NFF board do not know what they are doing. It is sad, very sad.”
Adelabu, who played club football with IICC Shooting Stars, added that such fine coming from FIFA should knock a lot of sense into the head of those running Nigerian football.
He said: “I don’t know the kind of contract the NFF signed with Rohr, but this should teach them some lessons on how to read and fine tune contracts with coaches, especially when a foreigner is involved. Where will Nigeria get this huge amount of money to pay this fine now? I feel ashamed about those running our football.”
Some other Nigerians, who spoke on the issue on a radio programme monitored in Lagos, called on the Federal Government to ‘mete out’ serious punishment on NFF officials for this international embarrassment.
The report stated yesterday that as at December 2001 when Rohr was fired, he had a subsisting contract till the end of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup in December, and was reportedly last paid his $55,000 monthly salary in May 2021, which means the NFF owed him 19 months’ salary arrears, aside other allowances and match bonuses.
Though NFF claimed early this year that Rohr had been paid his accumulated wages in naira based on the dictates of the fresh two-year contract he hitherto signed in 2020, the report added that FIFA has mandated NFF that they must now pay all moneys due to Rohr in U.S. dollars since he’s no longer domicile in Nigeria.
Contacted, an NFF official, who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian that the Federation would make its statement on the issue after due consultations with its lawyers. He, however, denied that the Federation owed Rohr as much as he claimed in his petition to FIFA.