NFF Queries Rohr
By Dipo Omoware
The Nigerian Football Federation has called out the Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser Mr. Gernot Rohr for “breaching provisions of the contract he signed with the NFF and the Code of Conduct for coaches.”
The Federation’s Technical Director Mr. Bitrus Bewarang disclosed this in Abuja earlier today.
Bewarang, who as assistant coach to Dutchman Clemens Westerhof was part of the technical crew that helped Nigeria qualify for its first FIFA World Cup and win the African Cup of Nations in 1994 pointed out specific sections in the Code of Conduct for coaches that Rohr had flaunted.
According to him, Clause E of the Code of Conduct says that “coaches must not misrepresent the NFF or distort information to the media. They are precluded from imparting unauthorized information to the media.”
He also revealed that Clause N of the same code for coaches, 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.”
Also contained in Rohr’s employment contract, according to the NFF top official is Clause 19 which states “the parties hereto agree that specific contents and especially the financial details of this contract shall be confidential and therefore agree to undertake whatsoever measures are necessary to preserve its confidentiality...,” Clause 11.2.5 was clear that “the coach shall refrain from talking to the press on matters outside his terms of employment i.e. he can only talk to the press on technical matters about the Super Eagles. He cannot talk to the media about any confidential subjects or issues other than technical matters only relating to the team and the development or state of Nigerian football, technically.”
While he appreciated the good work that the German has done in the dugout for the Super Eagles, he cautioned him to remain within the terms of his contract.
“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,” he said.
“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. 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.
“We did not pay any bonus for the 2021 AFCON qualifying matches against Benin Republic and Lesotho because 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. Last week, we paid all the National Team coaches and we are putting in place mechanism to ensure we don’t owe them going forward. We commend AITEO for its belief in the NFF and for always making funds available to pay the coaches.”