Nigeria’s chief coach Salisu Yusuf has been caught on camera accepting cash from undercover journalists posing as football agents who wanted him to select two players for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN).
The footage was captured by undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas’s Tiger Eye agency in September 2017.
Yusuf, Super Eagles’ first assistant during the World Cup, is due to lead Nigeria’s national team to the Olympics in 2020.
Nigeria’s top football coach, Salisu Yusuf, has been caught on camera taking cash. The footage, exposed here for the first time, was captured by controversial Ghanaian investigative journalist @anasglobal and recently handed to #BBCAfricaEye. pic.twitter.com/Yy5oiaJELx— BBC News Africa (@BBCAfrica) 23 July 2018
In the video, published by the BBC, Yusuf, one of Nigeria’s most respected tacticians, is shown accepting a $1,000 bribe, ostentibly to ensure that two players are selected for the CHAN 2018 tournamnet.
He is also offered 15 percent of future player sales if the figures in question secure transfers after the tournament.
The players were not named in the footage, however, according to the video published by the BBC, they were selected for CHAN. No further money was requested or given to Yusuf.
There is no suggestion the money the coach accepted impacted his player selection.
The CHAN 2018 tournament took place in Morocco between January and February, with the Super Eagles reaching the final, where they were defeated 4-1 by the hosts.
Yusuf denies any wrongdoing
In a statement directed to the BBC, the 56-year-old coach admitted receiving money but denied any wrongdoing.
‘I did accept $750 handed to me by one of the two agents to the two Nigerian players only as a gift of trivial and symbolic value and not as an inducement to play the two players represented by the two agents, as Anas Aremeyaw Anas and Tiger Eye would want you to believe,’ Yusuf said.
Chief coach of the Super Eagles, Salisu Yusuf was caught on tape receiving cash. He argues that it was $750 instead of $1000, But how trivial is $750? And wasn't it offered for the execution of an act? Salisu doesn't come off this. Salisu is in breach of the FIFA code of ethics. pic.twitter.com/jJVNVer2Qf— Solomon Fowowe (@SolomonFowowe) 24 July 2018
According to Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, the organization would launch an internal investigation.
‘We have seen the video on the internet, just like everybody else, and these are very serious allegations,’ Sanusi told KweséESPN.
‘We will be carrying out an internal investigation.’
Betraying the game
Early in June, Ghanian undercover journalist Anas released a documentary showing African officials allegedly engaging in acts of corruption.
The two-hour film generated widespread uproar, prompting the Ghanaian government to dissolve the country’s FA and forced its football chief Kwesi Nyantakyi to resign from the top positions he held with Fifa and the Confederation of African Football (Caf).
Adel Range Marwa, a Kenyan World Cup-bound referee who was filmed accepting a cash gift was detached by Fifa from taking part in the 2018 World Cup.
‘I think that we in Africa would have done better at the world (soccer) stage if we had not allowed people to infiltrate the camps of football setting,’ Anas said in an interview with Reuters.
‘If you had people who will sit down and fix a match and determine what the outcome will be, that is not fair to African football. If referees can sell yellow card, sell red card, sell goals, then you’re looking at a very bleak future of African football.’