THE Ethics and Fair Play Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has announced a fine of $5000 on Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Salisu Yusuf, following investigations into allegations of bribery against him. He was also banned from all football-related activities for one year.
Yusuf had been caught on camera collecting $1000 “cash gift” from an undercover reporter who posed as a football agent. The decoy football agent had approached Yusuf asking him to ensure that two particular players were selected into the squad for the 2017 African Nations Championship (CHAN). Yusuf was promised that if he selected the players and they got foreign contracts, he would be given 15 per cent of the contract sum.
Though Yusuf was heard in the video telling the undercover reporter that team selection was based solely on fitness and performance, the two players made it to the final squad. Besides, according to the FIFA and NFF code of ethics, football officials are not allowed to receive any cash gift from anyone.
The undercover report, which was done by a Ghanaian investigative reporter, Anas Aremeyaw, was published by the BBC in July this year.
Spokesperson of the NFF, Demola Olajire, announced the decision of the ethics committee, which stated that “it was not an error of judgment on the part of Coach Salisu Yusuf but a conscious and deliberate decision to have accepted the cash gift of $1,000 from the decoy player agent/undercover reporter”.
The report of the committee, however, stated that “the two players could have made the team to 2018 CHAN Competition in Morocco on the basis of their talent and performance”, and also “that Coach Salisu Yusuf did not accept the offer of 15 per cent of the anticipated transfer fees of the said players”.
Nevertheless, the NFF ethics committee agreed that “the act of the Coach, which was widely published on the British Broadcasting Corporation, has a damaging effect on the reputation and integrity of Nigerian Football, as he ought to have conducted himself more professionally in line with the Code of Conduct signed alongside his Contract with the Nigeria Football Federation, as his conduct in public and in secret should be exemplary, since coaches are role models”.
Consequently, Salisu was fined $5,000 dollars, to be paid within three months, and also banned from all football-related activities for one year. He was, however, given an option to appeal to the NFF Appeals Committee.
Two other top African football officials had also received sanctions after being caught on camera by Anas’ undercover reporters, collecting bribes.
They include former Ghana’s Football Association President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, who resigned from office after he was caught on camera collecting $65,000 bribe, and Kenyan referee, Adel Range Marwa, who was caught collecting $600.
Nyantakyi had been shortlisted for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but following the report, he was banned for life from all football activities.