Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Super Eagles technical manager Gernot Rohr must have smiled to the bank Tuesday after receiving a credit alert of two months salary which had been owed by his employer, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), as preparations for the Africa Nations Cup kicks into top gear.
SportingSun investigation revealed that though the NFF has been indebted to many of the national team coaches due to the deliberate refusal of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development to release the monthly subventions of the federation, it has managed to pay the salary of coaches.
Miffed by the increasing complaint by coaches under its employ, the NFF had exploited every financial avenue to raise funds for salary arrears, prioritising the payment of senior tacticians.
An NFF board member, who confided to SportingSun, said that the NFF has compiled the names of coaches owed payment, assuring that once funds are available, it will prioritise the clearance of salary arrears.
The board member argued that the federation deserves commendation rather of condemnation from Nigerians, saying that it has passed through hell sourcing for funds to pay the coaches and bankroll the qualifications and prosecution of continental and international competitions.
“I can confirm to you that the federation is not owing Rohr a dime again. We just paid him his remaining two months salary on Tuesday. However, if he still insists we are owing him, we will consult our records. We have equally compiled the names of the coaches and how much we are owing them and, as funds come, we will pay them very soon,” the source said.
“I don’t think those critical of the federation are fair to us. We have lost count of when last we received subvention from the Ministry of Sports. Yet, we have bankrolled the qualifiers, participation of almost all the national teams for both continental and international competitions. Nobody cared to know where we are getting the millions we are using to prosecute the activities of the national teams.
“From the Super Eagles, Super Falcons, Flying Eagles to the Golden Eaglets, the federation has not prosecuted the qualifiers and participation without subventions from the Ministry of Sports. The federation deserve commendation not condemnation from Nigerians. We appeal to the coaches to exercise patience because we will soon offset their arrears,” the board member noted.