A video has emerged and since gone viral online where the coach of the Nigerian national team, Salisu Yusuf, appears to be collecting bribe from undercover journalists who pretended to be football agents.
The footage, shot by BBC’s Ghanaian reporter Anas Aremeyaw Anas in September 2017, showed Yusuf collecting a wad of money, reportedly, $1000 cash.
It is understood that after a discussion on player selection, Yusuf was offered a bribe of N360, 000 ($1000) from the fake football agents who wanted him to select two players for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN), which he appears to have collected.
During the conversation, they handed the Nigerian coach the cash and alluded to more cash incentives if he selects their players for CHAN 2018 which held in Morocco.
“So if anything goes through and these players are able to get their contracts, you will get 15% of that contract,” one of the reporters posing as an agent told Yusuf to which he replied; “they will be in CHAN.”
The two players were eventually selected for CHAN 2018 although the investigation stated that there is no suggestion that the money given to Yusuf influenced the selection.
For years, rumours of Nigerian coaches collecting bribes to influence players for the national teams have been rife, but The BBC footage may have given credence to the claims.
Bear in mind that as the chief coach of the Super Eagles, Yusuf is in charge of the Super Eagles home-based side and an assistant to Gernot Rohr for the Super Eagles.
He was in charge of the Super Eagles Team B to the 2017 WAFU and 2018 CHAN where they lost in both finals.
Salisu Yusuf Reacts:
Yusuf has denied any wrongdoing after footage broadcast on Tuesday showed him accepting money from undercover reporters posing as football agents.
In a letter to the BBC, made available by Yusuf, he confirmed he met two people who introduced themselves as football agents and that they had a discussion about players for the CHAN.
He said he neither promised nor committed to select the players nor asked for money, which he maintained was $750 not $1,000 as claimed.
But he said he believed the money was not an inducement and fell within guidelines from the world governing body FIFA and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) about accepting gifts.
“I can remember giving them my honest answer to the end that if the said players were found suitable in the selection process, they would indeed be selected,” he wrote.
“I did accept $750 handed to me by one of the two agents to the two Nigerian players only as a gift of trivial and symbolic value and not as an inducement to play the two players represented by the two agents.”
There was no immediate response from the NFF.
Caught on camera is Super Eagles Chief Coach, Salisu Yusuf taking cash from reporters led by Ghanaian, Anas posing as football agents who wanted their players to be selected for CHAN 2018. – A simple explanation to why African Football is still where it is
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