NFF slams one-year ban on Salisu Yusuf for bribery

by Chibuogwu Nnadiegbulam, AIPS Young Reporter, Nigeria

ABUJA, September 5, 2018 – Super Eagles’ Chief Coach, Salisu Yusuf has been banned from all football –related activities for a year and he must also pay a fine of $5,000 within three months according to a statement by the Nigeria Football Federation.

This follows an NFF investigation into bribery allegations made against the 56-year-old who appeared before an NFF ethics committee in the capital Abuja on Thursday.

In September, 2017 during the WAFU Cup in Ghana, Yusuf was caught on camera accepting money from undercover reporters who posed as football agents seeking the selection of two players for the 2018 African Nations Championship.

The explosive video published online by the BBC in July is a product of an investigation done by the controversial multiple award-winning undercover reporter, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

After the video was made public, Yusuf denied any wrongdoing. But he has now been declared guilty by the NFF Committee on Ethics and Fair Play chaired by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

The committee, in its report, established that “he (Yusuf) 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 report added that it was Yusuf’s “conscious and deliberate decision to have accepted the cash gift” while emphasising 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”.

The NFF Ethics Committee sanctioned Yusuf in accordance with Art. 22 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. An appeal against the decision can be made to the NFF Appeals Committee.

Yusuf has coached some of the biggest clubs in Nigeria, including Kano Pillars and two-time African champions Enyimba. He led the home-based Super Eagles to a second-place finish at last year’s WAFU Cup and this year’s African Nations Championship in Morocco. He was assistant to Gernot Rohr at this year’s World Cup in Russia.

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