The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ibrahim Gusau, has announced the cancellation of salaries for assistant coaches across all national teams.
This unprecedented move is part of cost-cutting measures, with Gusau revealing that assistant coaches will now receive an “invitational allowance” instead.
Gusau addressed journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, January 9, explaining the rationale behind the decision. He emphasized the need for financial prudence, stating, “We want to reduce that problem so that at the end of the day I know if the coaches’ salaries are N10m and I have N50m, I know I can pay them for five months, not paying people for doing nothing.”
The football chief expressed concern about the number of idle assistant coaches, noting that many were employed without active roles. He emphasized that the new approach aims to ensure that coaches are compensated based on their active involvement, stating, “If we are supposed to pay you N1m, we will pay you N500,000.”
Gusau highlighted the issue of assistant coaches being appointed in large numbers, leading to many being idle during training sessions. He mentioned the specific case of the Eaglets having five assistant coaches, stating that such a number was unsustainable.
Furthermore, Gusau revealed a shift in the selection process for assistant coaches, indicating that head coaches of national teams would now have the privilege to choose their assistants. He emphasized the accountability of head coaches in this decision, stating, “If they appoint you as head coach, you must be given the privilege to choose your assistants because I don’t want you to complain to me.”
The president’s decision reflects a broader effort to address challenges within the national teams, as he acknowledged the need for corrective measures in the face of recent performance issues, particularly in U-17 competitions.
As the Nigerian football community grapples with the implications of these salary cuts, Gusau’s move raises questions about the balance between financial constraints and maintaining a competitive edge in international football.