Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick yesterday revealed that the federation chose to stick with Gernot Rohr as Super Eagles’ coach because the German ‘earned a new deal.’ Pinnick also said the federation has mapped out plans to liaise with Rohr to make the best use of the abundant talents available to the Nigerian senior national team.
Speaking during a media call yesterday, Pinnick said the NFF was looking forward to better days for Nigerian football, adding that the federation was working with its sponsors to fashion out ways of beating the dangers posed by the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s football.
He said, “We included a few other things in his contract but at the end of the day, we were able to come to an agreement.
“Currently, I am proud of the squad that we have. Without gainsaying, we have good players competing for every department on the field in the Super Eagles squad. It is exciting and we believe the team is on to a good thing. It is important that we work with him to nurture together a team that we can all be proud of.”
The NFF president revealed that going forward, the Super Eagles and Super Falcons will get priority attention in the federation’s programmes, saying that qualifying for the 2021 African Nations Cup and 2022 World Cup, as well as ensuring the Super Falcons’ Women succeeds in their AFCON assignment was top of their agenda.
Pinnick said the federation was banking on funds from FIFA/CAF to achieve most of its targets, adding, “a few days ago, we received a circular from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on the imminence of the sum of $200,000 into our accounts. This money is our annual statutory funds from CAF and not anything special, though it is coming earlier this year.
“Every money we receive, whether from government, sponsors or FIFA/CAF, we inform the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and we usually propose how the monies would be utilized. If they object to any particular utilization sub-head, we comply.”
The former CAF first vice president also disclosed that plans were on to ensure better welfare deals for Nigeria’s age-grade teams, saying, “they will soon know whether they will be able to go home with the entire cash pot from their appearance at FIFA World Cup tournaments.
“We are looking to still keep the age-grade teams in business, despite priority being given to the Super Eagles and the Super Falcons. But there will be conditions. They will earn no match bonus or camp allowances and we will only be able to take on board the minimum technical and backroom staff as specified by FIFA and CAF.
“However, if any of the team goes ahead and win the World Cup, or performs well enough at the World Cup to earn an appearance fee, that money will be shared by the entire team. The NFF will have no part of it. That will be the boon for them, the incentive to perform.”
Pinnick regretted that some persons were bent on derailing the federation’s programmes through ‘frivolous’ petitions to sponsors and court cases.
He said, “The disgruntled persons who are doing everything to foist a toxic environment on our football have even been writing to them to withdraw their sponsorship, threatening them and all that. I received a message an hour ago about someone wanting to take PwC, our external auditors, to court. We should all rise up and question the motives of these fellows. If not for personal relationships and their passion for the game, most of our partners would have pulled out as a result of the deleterious activities of these individuals.”
Speaking on the Super Falcons’ 2019 World Cup cash, which he said the federation was yet to receive, Pinnick said he would soon get in touch with FIFA to know the source of the delay, adding, “that money is the sum of $760,000, and 30 per cent of that money is for the team to share.”