Nigerian football has been rocked after Super Eagles coach Salisu Yusuf was caught on camera taking cash from men posing as football agents.
In stunning footage captured by controversial Ghanaian journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas in September 2017 and being broadcast for the first time by BBC Africa Eye, the supposed agents handed the Nigerian coach N360, 000 ($1000) and alluded to more cash incentives if he selects their players for CHAN 2018 which held in Morocco.
You can watch the clip here.
The infamous meeting happened in Ghana during the 2017 WAFU Cup where Nigeria lost 4-1 to host Ghana in the final.
“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 incredible disclosure comes after former Ghana FA chief, Kwesi Nyantakyi was nailed for receiving bribes after a similar investigation.
It also comes amid a raging leadership tussle at the Nigerian Football Federation that has seen the intervention of the Department of State Security and Police to oust factional leader Chris Giwa and pave the way for Amaju Pinnick.
“You know in football it is supposed to be consistency and form,” Yusuf is heard telling the reporters in the clip.
The former Enyimba and Kano Pillars coach has however denied any wrongdoing, insisting that it was $750 offered to him and not the $1000 claimed in the report.
He also claimed that he viewed the money as a symbolic value which falls within the gifts FIFA code allows for and that his influence over the players’ selection was never affected.
The NFF, which resumed full operations yesterday, has yet to release an official statement on the matter.
But it remains highly unlikely that the 56-year-old coach would continue in the employ of the federation.
Yusuf, who was the assistant to Gernot Rohr at the World Cup, is also the coach of Nigeria’s U-23 side due is to lead Nigeria to the Olympics in 2020.