Pinnick: NFF working to settle Super Eagles and Rohr’s debts amid Covid-19 challenges

The head of the Nigerian football body reiterated his commitment in clearing the bonuses and allowances of the national team players and coaches

The Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick said his administration is working to settle the debts they owe Super Eagles players and coaches despite the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pinnick did not shy away from the financial challenges facing the NFF and the struggles they encounter in discharging their financial obligations to Nigeria’s football teams.

Although salaries and allowances of national coaches have been slashed, coach Gernot Rohr is being owed five months salary, with goalkeeper coach Alloy Agu awaiting 22-months unpaid wages while the Super Eagles are yet to receive their bonuses and allowances for 19 months.

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Pinnick faulted Covid-19 for its negative impact on businesses, including the NFF premium sponsors Aiteo Group, however, he disclosed his administration’s commitment in paying off the debts as soon as possible.

“With the pandemic and challenges facing oil companies, things have been tough for our sponsors Aiteo, who are responsible for the payment of coaches,” Pinnick told BBC Sport.

“But we’ve moved to pay Alloy [Agu] nine months of his wages from what we have left and coach Gernot too will be sorted. We don’t want to owe and that is the mentality in which I came into the NFF.

“There are circumstances beyond our control. It is not a good thing to owe and we don’t like the image it creates.

“We are looking at every means not to owe. The toxic atmosphere has really affected our sponsorship drive but we can’t give excuses.

“We are working religiously and assiduously to resolve this as soon as possible.

“It’s a kind of government responsibility to pay the players and the [Nigerian] president is very keen on helping to sort it.

“I was in Abuja and I found out it’s only a matter of the modalities delaying paying the allowances and bonuses, any moment from now it will be sorted out.”

On Wednesday, Pinnick was cleared to vie for one of the six member seats allocated to the Confederation of African Football at the Fifa Council.

The 50-year-old said his ambition to be in the biggest football decision-making body is in the best interest of Africa.

“The quest for a Fifa council seat is in the interest of the continent and as the head of Nigerian football I must ensure all is well at home, too,” he concluded.

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