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Why should Rohr continue working on empty stomach?

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is owed eight months salaries by the Nigeria Football Federation as reported by various Nigerian media outlets.

The Franco-German, who helped qualify the Eagles for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations, was last paid in February by his employers.

This business of owing coaches salaries is a scourge of Nigerian football which has to stop.

Some of us so-called fans/pundits /observers have made a career out of criticising Gernot Rohr’s coaching knowhow at every turn. It – in all honesty – appears to smack of wickedness to arraign this man even if the Super Eagles falter as no one should be expected to excel under such appalling working conditions.

The German already agreed to take a pay cut, by dropping his salary by $6,000, and now earns $49,000 per month. It has been suggested in certain quarters that Rohr loses at least 40% of his salary due to complications related to being forced to be paid in Naira.

The players he relies on to carry out his masterplan on the pitch are also owed remunerations from time to time.

Yet, we want the Super Eagles to walk on water!

It just makes a mockery of the whole idea of following Nigerian football religiously.

When asked about owed perks and perquisites, the German replied with the curt: “I want to focus on my team, on the game, on our strategy.”

How someone can focus with an empty stomach beats my imagination. Rohr might not be physically hungry but anyone owed their wages will be deprived of hunger and inner passion to dispense the job effectively.

I have always been among those clamouring for this coach and that coach but it now seems like the NFF hasn’t changed: owing coaches salaries has become a staple. Which sane coach will want to take up an offer in a disjointed system?

From Late Keshi to Siasia and Oliseh, they owed these coaches with impunity; not to talk about the coaches (and players) of various age grade teams.

And we expect Nigeria to win the World Cup in our lifetime. I have never known any team to win the World Cup on empty stomach!

This bane is sadly not restricted to Nigeria, it cuts across African countries.

Former Ghana boss Kwesi Appiah (on 35K dollars per month at the time) was reportedly owed up to $185,000 in 2020. His predecessor Avram Grant had also been owed.

Charles Kwablan Akonnor who took over from Kwesi on 25K dollars per month was said to have been owed 1 year salary at some point before he was sacked.

Botswana coach Adel Amrouche was also owed salary at some point while cases similar to these in Africa go largely unreported in several countries.

And we want an African team to win the World Cup.

Pipe dream!

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