Nigeria Football Federation explains delay in paying coaches

Nigeria, coached by Gernot Rohr, will be back at the Nations Cup having missed the last two editions.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says delays in paying the salaries of coaches were a ‘short-term’ issue and admits Gernot Rohr has only received a portion of his salary for 2019.

NFF vice-president Shehu Dikko confirmed there had been a delay to wage payments, claiming sponsors have been left embarrassed by negative reports and interference from government agencies which he says is blighting the football authority.

“As we speak all our coaches have not received their salary on time, but coach Gernot Rohr has now been paid until March,” Dikko told BBC Sport.

“It’s only a short-term issue because our sponsors (Aiteo) that we sourced to pay the coach have always fulfilled their contractual obligations.

“Since 2017, when we signed this deal, there has not been any issue or delay, and sometimes he [Rohr] was paid upfront by this sponsor.

“Unfortunately, the sponsors are not happy about the negative happenings and it’s taken its toll on the NFF financial inflow.

“We had written to the coach to explain all these challenges leading to salary delays and he understands,” Dikko added.

Pay rows have often surrounded Nigerian teams, with coaches not paid regularly, while players have previously boycotted training during important qualifiers or at major tournaments over unpaid bonus.

Their 2014 World Cup campaign was affected by a bonus row, with players boycotting training before the round of 16 fixture against France as they demanded their bonuses and appearance fees.

As the NFF, who receive direct funding from government, strive to fix the financial issues, Dikko believes a previous arrangement will help both officials and players avoid a dispute ahead of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign.

“When it comes to bonuses and dues, there’s a mutual trust and understanding between the players and the NFF,” he said.

“They received their 2018 World Cup money upfront and already the Nations Cup qualifying bonuses have been paid.

“The Nations Cup is being handled by the government and they know that payments will be made once government releases its funding.

“We continue to work hard on this and luckily we have a good relationship with the players.”

Nigeria, the three-time African champions, will play in Group B at next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, alongside Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi.


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Publish date : 2019-05-18 14:02:58

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