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Nigerian Coach Salisu Yusuf Banned for Taking Cash From Undercover Journalists

Super Eagles Assistant Coach Salisu Yusuf $5,000 has been banned for 12 months after he was filmed taking cash from undercover journalists.

The Nigeria Football Federation has fined Super Eagles Assistant Coach Salisu Yusuf $5,000 (4,300 euros) and banned him for 12 months after he was filmed taking cash from undercover journalists.

The 56-year-old was caught on camera taking cash from men posing as football agents, who in turn requested that two players be selected for a continental championship.

The videos were captured by controversial Ghanaian investigative journalist Anas Aremayaw Anas, together with the same undercover reporting team that exposed FIFA Council member Kwesi Nyantakyi of Ghana.

In the video, the two men asked him to make sure that defender Osas Okoro and midfielder Rabiu Ali were in Nigeria’s squad for the African Nations Championship in January and February. He surprisingly agreed, received the money and they shook hands.

The Nigerian Football Federation called for a full investigation into the bribery allegations to determine the appropriate punishment before they could impose sanctions on Salisu.

“We have found as a fact from the documentary and video evidence before it, that he accepted the cash gift of $1,000,” the NFF revealed in a press release after the investigations.

“[He] 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.”

Salisu was called to appear before an NFF ethics committee in the capital Abuja, but the gaffer continuously denied any wrongdoing.

Salisu insisted that the money was a gift and the players the two suggested were selected on merit but the video evidence was beyond refutable.

“There is nothing in the allegation pointing to a demand for the money from the agents of the two principals. Rather, the agent only handed the money to me after expressing ‘hope’ that the principals would play in the Championship,” he said in a right of reply.

“Be that as it may, I did accept cash handed to me by one of the said football agents, which I later discovered, upon checking, to be $750 and not $1000.

Yusuf was Gernot Rohr’s assistant at the recently concluded World Cup and had previously been considered a perfect replacement for Rohr’s after his impressive run at this year’s championships in Morocco.

Heading to CHAN, Salisu had to find a way to put a team of only home-based together during a season break. Against all odds, he surpassed expectation and managed to guide them to the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) final where they lost to hosts Morocco but earned the respect of the crowds because of their entertaining football.

The scandal is a massive blow to the gaffer who has been of late considered a perfect replacement for head coach Gernot Rohr.

(Photo from CAFonline)

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