The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is worried over the report of a bribe scandal dangling around the neck of Super Eagles’ assistant coach, Salisu Yusuf.
Yusuf, who is the chief coach of the Home-based Super Eagles, was caught on camera taking cash from men posing as football agents.
He was the Super Eagles assisted coach to Gernot Rohr at the just concluded Russia 2018 World Cup, and is due to lead the national U-23 team to Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, a board member of the NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau said the report was a rude shock to the federation, adding that the board would sit to discuss it.
“It was shocking to us just like some other Nigerians,” Gusau said.
“The board will sit very soon to table the matter. We are just coming out of one crisis, but this is a serious allegation, and we will surely look into it.
I am sure our Secretary General (Dr. Mohammed Sanusi) or the President (Amaju Pinnick) will have an update on it.”
The footage was said to have been captured by controversial BBC journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, in September 2017, but was made public for the first time on Tuesday by BBC Africa Eye.
The former Kano Pillars chief coach was accused of collecting $1000 from an unknown agent to field Kano Pillars Rabiu Ali and Osas Okoro of Rangers international during the CHAN Tournament in Morocco.
Yusuf has allegedly conceded to the allegation, but claimed he collected the said money as a gift, not a bribe.
While most Nigerians are shocked by the revelation, former coach of the Golden Eaglets and Super Falcons, Godwin Izilien has risen in defence of the embattled coach Yusuf: “Going by the way Yusuf defended himself, I can see that the undercover journalist just wanted to punish him.
In coaching, a number of inducements come from various quarters.
And taking gifts from people is a common phenomenon all over the World.
“Yusuf said that the man came to him after the game was played.
I would have blamed Yusuf if his meeting with the undercover journalist had taken place before the match because it could influence his selection of players. In any case, he should have ignored the money.”
On his part, coach Godfery Esu said: “This has been a reccurring issue among Nigerian coaches for years.
I remember when the Super Eagles went to Egypt 2006 Nations Cup, and how football agents took over team selection, ensuring that their players were used instead of established players like Wilson Oruma, Austin Okocha and Garba Lawal.
At the end, we lost to Cote d’Ivoire in the semifinal in a match we were supposed to win.”
Source: G Sport