Rohr rues NFF, sports ministry rift

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr says the unhealthy relationship between the Nigeria Football Federation and the Ministry of Sports is a major reason why the federation finds it difficult to honour their contract with him.

The German, who had previously managed Niger, Burkina Faso and Gabon, said it was the first time he would find himself in the middle of the political game between a federation and the parent ministry.

On whether he was owed salaries by the federation as widely reported, Rohr, who led the Eagles to a third-place finish at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt in July, said, “You know that I don’t like to speak about these things and I never did it. They (NFF) try their best to honour the contract, they try but it was very difficult and it is still very difficult for them to honour it.

“The problem is, when you say something in life, you must do it, My father told me that and I always tell it to my children, ‘if you promise, you must do it.’ It’s not even the problem with the contract. Looking now for the real problem, I think this is the first country I see here in Africa where the sports ministry and the federation are not working together. In the other countries, I was paid by the sports ministry, they paid me. I had the contract with the NFF and the sports ministry, here the NFF has to find the money alone to pay all the things.”

The former Bordeaux player and coach advised both bodies to work together for the growth of the country’s football.

“Fortunately, we got the 2018 World Cup money, and now we’ve got the money from the AFCON from CAF, more than $2m, I think. But for the future, if it’s with me or without me, they should find a way to together to work in the same direction – the sports ministry politics and the officials of NFF. You cannot improve Nigerian football if you don’t have these relationships, a good relationship, if you don’t have these infrastructures, the pitches, we need them.”