NIGERIA’S sports ministry has declared that it will take over the payment of the Super Eagles’ manager salary as soon as a new appointment is made to avoid the embarrassing situations of the past whereby coaches were owed salary arrears.
In December last year, the Nigerian Football federation sacked Gernot Rohr as the Super eagles manager and is yet to find a replacement. Mr Rohr has taken Nigeria to Fifa to demand his salary arrears and the sports ministry is embarrassed about the fact that the NFF did not honour its financial obligations.
Under the arrangement the NFF had with Mr Rohr, his salary was to be paid by a sponsor but unimpressed with the previous regime, the sports ministry is now taking direct control. Already, the ministry has told the NFF that it has until next week to name a new foreign coach to head the Eagles.
Sports ministry officials have been far from impressed with a proposal by the NFF for a new Super Eagles coach. Led by the sports minister himself, the ministry officials have insisted that the best man be appointed and not the most affordable as has been the argument of the NFF.
One ministry official said: “The ministry has approached Mr President and secured approval for the federal government to now pay the salary of the new coach. All the NFF need do is to pick a solid coach and forward his contract and salary requirements to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the ministry.”
It is believed that a delay in appointment of a new coach may not be unconnected with the reluctance of the NFF to heed the directives and advice of the ministry that the most qualified of the four shortlisted candidates be picked. The NFF reportedly recommended Jose Peserio, who they argued is affordable and has agreed to live and work in Nigeria but the ministry is not happy with the choice.