The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been ordered to pay former coach Gernot Rohr just under $380,000 in compensation after ending his contract early.
Nigeria’s longest-serving manager having taken charge in August 2016, Rohr lost his job as Super Eagles coach in December just four weeks before the delayed 2021 Africa Cup of Nations kicked off in Cameroon.
The NFF had agreed to pay Rohr’s salary until the end of his contract, which expires in December 2022, but the Franco-German went to football’s world governing body Fifa to demand an additional sum for breach of contract without just cause.
Rohr, 68, had sought a total of £1m, but has been granted $377,879.46 after a Fifa tribunal decided his claim was “partially accepted insofar as it is admissible”.
The ruling by the Fifa players’ status chamber added that the NFF would be sanctioned if Rohr was not paid in full within 45 days.
“If full payment (including all applicable interest) is not made within 45 days of notification of this decision, the respondent [the NFF] shall be imposed a restriction on receiving a percentage of development funding, up until the due amounts are paid,” said the Fifa decision.
The NFF, which is on the verge of announcing another foreign coach for the Super Eagles, will not be appealing the decision.
And a top official of the football body has hailed the Fifa ruling as a victory for the West African nation.
“This sum basically reflects whatever is left to pay him as previously agreed until the end of December 2022,” the source, who wished to remain anonymous, told BBC Sport Africa.
“We can only wish Mr Rohr all the best.”
Compensation follows fall-out of World Cup exit
Rohr was was highly praised for rebuilding Nigeria between 2016 and 2018, but nervy and lacklustre performances in more recent years and his conservative approach were heavily criticised by the local media and fans.
Despite leading the Super Eagles to both Africa’s 2022 World Cup play-offs and qualification for this year’s Nations Cup tournament, he came under fire for poor results against lower-ranked opponents during qualifying for Qatar.
Rohr, who guided Nigeria to the 2018 World Cup and to third place at the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt, was subsequently replaced by Augustine Eguavoen.
His successor led the team to the last 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations this year and was then tasked with reaching the World Cup finals in Qatar.
But Nigeria were eliminated on the away goals rule following a 1-1 draw with Ghana in Abuja in the second leg of their play-off in late March.
Eguavoen stepped down from the job as coach, while the rest of his coaching staff were dismissed.
Fifa’s order to pay Rohr compensation comes after the NFF were fined $154,000 for crowd trouble following their draw against the Black Stars.
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