By Tony Ubani

Fears that the Super Eagles fine run in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers could be truncated due to the arrears of salary owed Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr have been allayed even as some companies have promised to bail out the Nigeria Football Federation from their financial quagmire.

Gernot Rohr
Gernot Rohr

Nigeria currently leads their 2018 World Cup qualifying group with four points ahead of their closest challengers Cameroon but off the field distractions of pecuniary matters have heightened fears that Nigeria could bungle their lead in the group.

Sports Vanguard gathered authoritatively that Rohr’s three months salary arrears have become a burden to the NFF even though the coach has handled the salary issue diplomatically, turning off inquiries saying that ‘’it’s a personal issue and there is no problem between me and my employers’’.

Checks by Sports Vanguard, however, indicate the NFF who convinced Sports Minister to hire the coach because they had sponsors to pay his salaries were left in the lurch by some oil companies who withdrew from their earlier pledge to pick the salaries of the coach.

‘’It is unfortunate that the status of a Government official in the oil sector sector changed, if not, we’ll not be talking about the non payment of Rohr’s salary. There was a solid agreement that the oil company would foot the bills of the foreign technical adviser as their Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR). It was based on it that we went for Rohr and the coach has justified his employment without defeat on the Eagles since he was hired. Due to changes in government that affected the status of the man driving the oil companies, they too, have backtracked from honoring their pledge on the salary of Rohr’’, a top official of the Nigeria Football Federation said.

But the NFF in the past weeks had overcome their gloom as partners and sponsors have given them a lifeline on the three months arrears owed Rohr.

‘’As we talk, am sure that his salaries will be cleared. We’ve gotten promises from partners and sponsors and we’ll not waste time in clearing his salaries. He(Rohr) has shown faith and understanding with us and we honestly appreciate his professionalism and focus on qualifying Nigeria for the World Cup as well as the Africa Cup of Nations. We can only appeal to Nigerians not to distract him from his set objectives’’, the source noted.

However, another snag remains the winning bonuses and allowances for the win against Zambia. Our source said that the Ministry, while absolving themselves from Rohr’s salaries, should shoulder the payment for the winning bonuses they are owed.

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