By Wofuru Peter – Port Harcourt
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Malvin Pinnick has debunked reports that the football body is trying to force Gernot Rohr out of his position as Super Eagles coach, Felele247.com.ng can report.
Pinnick made this known while speaking as a guest on Channels Television on Monday.
While speaking on issues concerning the contract situation of Rohr which has led to reports on various media that the NFF is looking for ways of means to do away with the Franco-German tactician, Pinnick said they have always been behind him even when calls were made for his sack.
He has a contract and the contract says he has the right to first refusal. Now we are sending the contract to him and the contract definitely we have maybe one or two provisions but not radically different from what he has and that is the truth.
“So the truth is when people talk about Gernot Rohr, I know a lot of people that were antagonistic when we brought him in the first time. They said he coached Niger he coached so and so that he is not fit to coach Nigeria.
“After the World Cup he was accused of not introducing a change if not we would have beaten Argentina, that he is not wanted and that when we lost to South Africa it was the same thing.
“But the NFF has always been steadfast because we don’t take individual decision, we take collective decision and sometimes we engage the Ministry and get their opinion.
“Whatever we are doing is in the best interest of the country. Like I said his contract is not radically different from what he use to have.”
Pinnick claims the relationship between the NFF and Rohr has always been cordial and hopes it continues to stay like that.
“We’ve always had very wonderful relationship with him,” he said. “Like yesterday we were on the phone for like 45 minutes, we talk everyday, I don’t have any issues with him, I don’t have anything against him.
“The process is ongoing. Two days ago it (contract) was sent to our external solicitor, then it will come back to the NFF before we send it to him. So I believe within that 10 days, this is the seventh day, he will get it and he will respond.
“The truth is he (Rohr) has done a lot for Nigeria as a coach no doubt but without the support of the NFF he would not be able to achieve one third of what he has achieved and that is the truth. We work in harmony and like I said we have a cordial relationship. Like what i said I must always protect the sovereignty of this country, I must always protect the interest of Nigeria.
“You see when government take certain decisions it’s not that they hate anybody but it definitely to protect the territorial integrity of this country it’s the same thing we are going to do. We dont just take personal decision that’s why it’s going through a lot of processes because we don’t want to make mistakes, even if we are going to make mistakes let it be minimal, but we don’t want to make mistakes possibly.
“His contract expires in June this is April, we look at it if he says it’s okay then there’s no problem. You see we talk all the time. Yesterday I was talking with Jamilu Collins, I speak to all my players, that harmony that we have indeed we want it to continue.”
And on plans to pay Super Eagles players in in naira just as it is being proposed in Rohr’s new contract, Pinnick said:
“The way they play in Nigeria their bonus has been in Naira. Then when they play abroad then we pay them in dollars. But that can even change because like I said we are going to take so many difficult decisions that will go across board because we need to promote our fiscal policy. If the government is saying we need to strengthen our Naira we shouldn’t be paying in dollars, we are an integral part of the government and we must support anything the government is doing and that is the truth.
“We dont need the government to tell us to do this, we know that if we pay in Naira it will strengthen our naira, then why not.”