Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick has again reiterated that Gernot Rohr must reside in the country to continue as Super Eagles head coach beyond this year.
The Franco-German’s contract expires at the end of the year and over the past few months a non too gentle tug-of-war has played out publicly between the tactician and his employers with barbed comments flying back and forth as wrangling over a new contract carried on.
While confirming that talks over a new $55,000 deal for Rohr will commence in January, Pinnick said the NFF is “not going to compromise our national integrity again” and will be looking to tighten the reins around the former Bordeaux manager hence the insertion of a non-negotiable clause requiring Rohr to live in Nigeria to earn a new deal.
Pinnick said the Federation’s stance is geared towards ensuring that all national team coaches including Rohr are fully committed to their assignments.
“We will start negotiating the new contract with Rohr in January,” Pinnick told TheGuardian. “That would give us time to plan for the qualifiers, which begin in March. We are not going to compromise our national integrity again.”
“[Rohr] must live in Nigeria and can go to Europe two or three times a year. He can stay either in Lagos or Abuja, where we are ready to provide a befitting accommodation for him.
“Other national teams’ coaches live in the countries where they work and ours cannot be different.”
The Delta State born football administrator also said that the generous terms which had granted Rohr tax breaks under the old contract will no longer be the case and that the Super Eagles head coach will now be required to pay applicable taxes under the new contract.
“I must admit that the last contract was loose in so many areas, but we want to correct that now,” Pinnick said.
While Rohr had enjoyed complete autonomy over national team player selection in the past, the NFF president said that will now change as the NFF technical committee would henceforth vet all call ups to the national teams to curb the influence of agents.
“He will have to submit a list of players to be invited for national assignment and as well submit his list for matches to the technical committee.
“This is to avoid a situation where players just get invited to the Super Eagles without proper check and to avoid unscrupulous players’ agents who lobby to include their players in the national team,” Pinnick said.
The NFF President also said work on the Sunday Dankaro House permanent offices was nearly complete and a January date for occupying the building is feasible.
“We want to move to the house before the end of January. Already, PWC is working to ensure we do things the right way and move into the place.”
Rohr’s stint in charge of the three-time African champions saw them qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and also claim a third-place finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
He has also led the team to the top of Group L in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, where Nigeria defeated the Squirrels of Benin 2-1, before overcoming the Crocodiles of Lesotho 4-2.