The coach of the Nigeria national football team, Gernot Rohr, has confirmed he will be forfeiting an undisclosed percentage of his April, May and June salaries as donations for the fight against the rampaging coronavirus.
Rohr who has also accepted a pay cut in his yet-to-be ratified new contract with the Nigeria Football Federation told ESPN’s Colin Udoh his gesture was among other things necessitated by the need for sacrifices by all in these trying times.
He said: “Of course, everybody at the moment has an obligation to understand that there are no matches. Clubs and federations have problems with money, even if they have assistance from FIFA or UEFA, but everybody has to be ready to make sacrifices.
“So, I already told NFF that in the months from April to June, we agreed to cut our salaries, which is also a sign of solidarity.”
Rohr, 66, is on a $US55,000 monthly salary but the Franco-German has since explained that the lump sum is not just for him.
He told ESPN he pays his three assistants (who are not on the payroll of the NFF) from the money; thus, refuting claims he is being heavily paid by the Federation compared to his predecessors.
He said,”For me, it is a little bit special because, as you know, with my salary, we are four people. It is not only me. I have my three assistants, Tunde Adelakun, Nabil Trabelsi and also Jean Luc Royer. I can speak in the name of my assistants because we are in touch all the time.
“Like I told you, I don’t speak in public about it. I never spoke about my salary; I only saw that it has been published. But, it’s for four people and not only for me. A lot of people don’t know that.”
On his anticipated new contract and decision to accept a pay cut and also in local currency, Rohr further told ESPN it is a demonstration that his urge to remain as the Super Eagles coach beyond June 30, when his present contract will expire, is primarily not about financial gains.
“I am not doing my job for money. I am doing my job because I like it. Because we have built a team like you know, and money is not the most important. But I also have to look after my assistants.
“I accept because I think that my mission in Nigeria is not finished yet, and I know very well, my players. I know very well, the officials. We are now just like a family, and I think it is good to continue especially in this period now where it is difficult to change, to travel, to see new people.”
Rohr, in August 2016, was appointed as the Super Eagles coach to replace Sunday Oliseh.
Since taking over the reins of the national team, Rohr led the Super Eagles to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia in emphatic style but his team crashed out in the first round at the Mundial.
Rohr also qualified Nigeria for the 2019 AFCON where the Super Eagles finished as the continent’s third-best team at the tournament staged in Egypt.