Salisu Yusuf, Chief Coach of the Super Eagles, has been handed a one-year ban after a video of him surfaced receiving $1,000 bribe to inflence players’ list.
The Ethics and Fair Play Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) investigated Salisu, after he was filmed by a Ghanian investigative reporter, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, receiving bribe to file two players, Osas Okoro and Rabiu Ali, in the 2018 CHAN Competition in Morocco.
Salisu has also been directed to pay a fine of $5,000 to the Federation within three months, just as he has been asked to stay away from football-related activities, while his ban lasts.
However, Salisu was given the chance to make an appeal on his ban to the NFF Appeals Committee.
Releasing details of the report of the committee, spokesperson of the federation, Demola Olajire, said the committee concluded that Salisu received the cash gift though it could not ascertain if the gift influenced his decision to select the players because the two players could have made the team on the basis of their talent and performance.
The committee’s report read in part: “1) Established from the admission of Coach Salisu Yusuf and also found as a fact from the documentary and video evidence before it, that he accepted the cash gift of $1,000 offered by Tigers Player’s Agency, an undercover reporter, purportedly interested in acting on behalf of Players Osas Okoro and Rabiu Ali, for their inclusion in the list of players for 2018 CHAN Competition in Morocco.
“The Committee found as a fact 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, purportedly interested in acting on behalf of Players Osas Okoro and Rabiu Ali, even though the evidence before the Committee did not establish that his conduct influenced the choice of the two players.
“That the two players could have made the team to 2018 CHAN Competition in Morocco on the basis of their talent and performance.
“That Coach Salisu Yusuf did not accept the offer of 15% of the anticipated transfer fees of the said players, as there was no follow –up action on the promise.
“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.
“That the FIFA Code of Ethics, NFF Code of Ethics and FIFA Disciplinary Code, did not contemplate negligence or error of judgment as a defence to violation of any of the provisions as contained therein, as punitive measures must be adopted to serve as deterrent to other intending offenders, even though, that he is a first time offender.”
The committee maintained that according to Art. 20, 21 (1) and 21 (3) of the NFF Code of Ethics and Art. 10 and 11 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, Salisu is guilty of receiving bribe.
The chief coach of the Super Eagles has, however, denied being bribed to field players claiming that the money was not an inducement and fell within guidelines from the world governing body, FIFA, and the NFF about accepting gifts.
He had also claimed that the money he collected was $750, not $1,000.
Coach Salisu has been left out of the Super Eagles coaching crew for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Seychelles on Saturday, September 8, 2018.