One of Nigeria’s most respected top coaches and deputy to Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr, Mr Salisu Yusuf, has been caught on camera receiving money to influence player selection, according to an undercover investigative report aired on BBC Africa Eye.
The video, which was captured by controversial Ghanaian journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, and which went viral early on Tuesday, showed Yusuf back in September 2017, receiving an amount claimed to be $1,000 (N360,000) from journalists who posed as football agents, wishing to see two of the players they were representing selected for last year’s edition of the All African Nations Championship, CHAN, hosted by Morocco.
The video further revealed how the agents promised Yusuf more money and 15% of the contract sums should the said players get big money moves after the tournament.
According to the video, though the two players the undercover reporters said they were representing were selected for the tournament, Yusuf had insisted that selection would only be on the basis of consistency and form.
Speaking the BBC about the video, Yusuf insisted that he neither solicited for the money given to him, nor did it influence his team selection, adding that the said amount was $750 and not $1,000 as claimed by Anas, and that he was not in breach of any FIFA or NFF rules.
CHAN is a tournament involving African nations being represented solely by players plying their trade in leagues on the continent.
The CHAN Eagles under Yusuf, posted Nigeria’s best result in the competition since it started by reaching the final for the first time before losing 4-0 to hosts Morocco.
It would be recalled that critics had roundly criticised the CHAN Eagles’ performance at the tournament with most pundits questioning Coach Yusuf’s selections in the build up to the final, despite Rohr’s insistence that the nation should focus on the positives despite the heavy loss as it was Nigeria’s best finish at the tournament.
It would be recalled that Anas’ investigative work in Ghana exposed high ranking football officials and led to the resignation of Ghana’s Football Federation boss, Kwesi Nyantakyi.
With the Nigerian FF still embroiled in a leadership crisis of its own between incumbent president Amaju Pinnick and factional president Ambassador Chris Giwa, who was on Monday forcefully removed from the NFF Secretariat in Abuja by Department of State Security, DSS, officials, it is left to be seen of the body will take any action against Yusuf following the latest revelation.
The chief coach of the Super Eagles, and first assistant during the World Cup, is due to lead the national team to the Olympics in 2020.
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