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Former Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, says he took a 20 per cent pay cut in a bid to help the Nigeria Football Federation manage cost after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The NFF terminated the contract of the Franco-German on Sunday, after five years and four months with the three-time African champions, with just a few weeks to the AFCON in Cameroon.
NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, cited the team’s abysmal performances under Rohr as the reason the coach was shown the exit door, while adding that the 68-year-old failed to enforce discipline in the team.
On his part, Rohr alleged that some officials tried to influence his choice of players.
In an interview with ESPN, the former Bordeaux manager said he was never in Nigeria because of money.
“No, never,” Rohr responded when asked if anyone ever offered him money to invite a player.
“They know me in Africa and in Europe for a long time that I’m part of these people who can never be corrupted. My reputation is there. To take one player to help him in some clubs is something we did, but only in the interest of Nigerian football, only to help the players, and never for money.
“If I was in Nigeria for money, I could have left a long time ago. Instead, I proposed a 20 per cent cut in my salary because of the pandemic. But even then, the salary is not always coming — and still not coming.
“I’m surprised to see how Nigeria treats their coach. It’s not only for me; it’s also for other coaches. We’re not paid and we’re sacked.”
Speaking further, Rohr said he was proud of his time as the Eagles head coach.
“Opinions are not all the same but everybody will see the facts,” he added.
“The facts are that we came from No. 67 in the world to No. 36, from No.13 in Africa to No.5. And we will be in the top five (in Africa) for the World Cup draw, which is very important for the playoffs.
“We had a wonderful professional relationship, and the human relationships also will be forever.
“We did all we had to do in the interest of Nigeria, and we are proud about that. We found young goalkeepers who will be here for perhaps 10 years. We found young wingers, we found new defenders.
“We helped our captain [Ahmed Musa] get the record of more than 103 games for his country. We produced the top goal scorers in the last AFCON and the qualifiers also.
“So, five wonderful years and four months, and I thank [NFF president] Amaju Pinnick, who gave me the chance to work in this country. I will forget the end. What happened this last one year was not easy, but now I hope that everybody will be correct and can live like friends.”
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.