Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr has suggested that the stipulation that he must agree to live in Nigeria in order to earn a contract extension is misplaced since he already spends “more time in Nigeria than in Europe”.
Rohr’s contract situation has become a matter of national discourse with his current deal running out in June and talks over a renewal dragging on for months.
Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick caused a furore recently when he revealed three non-negotiable terms Rohr must accede to, to continue as Eagles manager.
Speaking on a breakfast show on Arise TV, Pinnick said Rohr must live in Nigeria for the duration of his contract, accept a naira-denominated salary and “nurture” players from the domestic leagues.
But in an Instagram Live session with ESPN journalist Colin Udoh, the 66-year-old former Gabon coach refused to join issues with the NFF president and reiterated his commitment to working with the Super Eagles.
“My philosophy is not to speak about contracts in public, it is even written in my contract. But I saw just like you what has been said in the media but I cannot comment on it,” Rohr said.
“I am happy to continue working with Nigeria. We are like [a] family. We have many games lined up for us in the second half which could be up to about 10 or 20.”
While Pinnick’s “live in Nigeria” demand appears to have resonated with many Nigerians, the former Bordeaux manager suggested that an examination of his time with the national team would render that position moot since it is something he does already.
“I can’t comment(on Pinnick’s comments), all I can say is, since three years, most of my time, I spent in Nigeria already,” Rohr said.
“But when I have to go to see my players, they are all in Europe. Only one is in Nigeria here.” Then I had to see to meet my players, their coaches in the club, their matches, to communicate, and I did it all the time. But all the time, I return to Nigeria.
“So when I have a look at the past, I spent more time in Nigeria than in Europe.”
Rohr was appointed Super Eagles manager in 2016 and led the team to the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and a third-place finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.