The Nigeria Football Federation has engaged in a desperate effort to source money to pay the Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr his salary arrears.
The development came barely a day after Cameroon’s Belgian coach Hugo Broos threatened to quit his role at the Indomitable Lions over management and funding problems in the team, who won the Africa Cup of Nations for the fifth-time in Gabon on February 5.
Cameroon, who are the hosts of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, face Nigeria in a Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying double-header on August 28 and September 2.
NFF was in dire financial straits — and was battling to secure a regular source of income for Rohr’s $4,700- a-month salary from the beginning of this year.
It was learnt on Thursday that the German manager’s employers had yet to pay him his January and February salaries.
But it wasclaimed on Thursday that Rohr was being owed three months’ salary by the NFF.
“Rohr has not been paid for three months now. The NFF say they are broke,” the outlet quoted an unnamed source as saying.
To avoid the embarrassment of failing to pay Rohr, it was learnt that the NFF was discussing with three companies to take over the payment of the former Burkina Faso coach’s salary.
The NFF is also said to be worried about how to pay the bonuses and allowances of the players during the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers.
But the NFF allegedly suspended contract talks with the firms due to the internal wrangling over the federation president Amaju Pinnick’s nomination for the CAF executive committee election and his involvement in electioneering.
Pinnick dethroned his fierce opponent Moucharafou Anjorin of Benin Republic in the March 16 CAF election in Addis Ababa to become the third Nigerian to become a member of the continental body’s executive after Oyo Orok Oyo and Amos Adamu.
Our correspondent learnt that the NFF had revived talks with a number of companies, including the three they had earlier approached for help, to raise money for Rohr’s salary.
Although the coach is said to be unhappy with the development, the prospect of helping Nigeria qualify for the World Cup and dishing out instructions from the dugout to the three-time African champions in Russia delights the 63-year-old former Niger coach.
However, spokesman for the NFF Ademola Olajire said he was not aware if Rohr is being owed by the federation.
“I am not aware if the NFF is owing the Eagles coach,” Olajire told The PUNCH on the telephone on Thursday.
“ If the coach is owed, I believe he would have come out to say that he is being owed. We should rather focus on the positives of the team rather than distract them with negativities such as this.
“The coach is building a young team of success-hungry players, that should be the focus of every Nigerian and not unsubstantiated rumours like whether the coach is being owed or not.”