By Aniekeme Unyah
Gernot Rohr says he will sign a new deal that will see him remain as Nigeria coach beyond June 2020, if the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) accepts his proposed changes to the fresh contract offered by the NFF.
The Franco-German tactician’s current contract is due to expire on June 30, but he can stay on if he and the NFF agree on a new deal. In the proposed deal, some clauses have been modified. The new contract requires the 66-year old to take a pay cut, as well as reside in Nigeria.
Rohr said he will accept these requirements.
“I never talk about my contract in public, as you know,” he told ESPN.
“But I heard like everybody what was said by President [Amaju] Pinnick, that I have to accept to be paid in naira, and I have to be resident in Nigeria. I agree to these two things, and even I agree to have a lower salary.
“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.”
The former Bordeaux player refused to reveal how much pay cut he’s willing to take on his $55,000-a-month salary but disclosed that his three assistants are paid from his salary, not the NFF.
“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.”
Rohr also hinted that one of the clauses he’s proposed changes to has to do with giving him more freedom, especially regarding picking of players.
“I want to work free in all my responsibilities,” he told ESPN.
“Independence as coach who is responsible for results. It is always good to be sure you can do a work with confidence and be free in the choice of good players.
“We have a good relationship with Pinnick, with [ NFF vice-president] Seyi [Akinwunmi] and with [League Management Company chairman] Shehu [Dikko] so I think we can find an agreement. There is no big problem to change.
“All I can say is that we are discussing in a good spirit with NFF. They sent me the proposal, I sent my answer. There are some little things to discuss about, and then we will see. Everything can be discussed. They have my answer and now I will wait for the proposal coming back.”
Rohr and the NFF, though, might reach an agreement in the coming weeks, given the fact that a high-ranking NFF official told ESPN that the gaffer’s demands were minor and acceptable.
“Nobody has ever interfered in his job,” the official said.
“He has always had the independence to work as he pleases, so we are fine with that. Our lawyer is busy drawing up the final draft of the contract, and once it is ready the next thing you will hear from the NFF is that a new contract has been signed.”
Rohr was appointed in August 2016 to succeed Sunday Oliseh, who quit the job acrimoniously.
The former Niger coach secured the Super Eagles a place at the 2018 World Cup, where they failed get past the group stage. And in 2019, he led the team to win bronze medal at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
In 49 games with the Super Eagles, Rohr has won 29, drawn 11 and lost nine.