Nigeria investigates bribery allegation against its national team coach

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is investigating an allegation of bribery against coach Salisu Yusuf.

Yusuf, 56, was caught on camera taking cash from men posing as football agents, who requested that two players be selected for a continental championship. READ: Anas again! Bribes Nigeria’s Super Eagles coach to select players “It’s true that the NFF has commenced a preliminary investigation into the matter to assist the Committee on Ethics and Fairplay,” NFF director of communications Ademola Olajire told BBC Sport. “This is a very sensitive matter and a proper investigation is required by the football authority. “For now, there will be no further comments on this subject,” Olajire added. The names of the players were not disclosed and Yusuf, who was assistant to Gernot Rohr at the recent World Cup in Russia, has denied any wrongdoing. Yusuf, who also doubles as head coach of the country’s Olympic football squad, said the money was a gift and that the players were selected on merit. “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. He does not believe the rule on cash gifts would apply in this case and has not breached the rule of the world football’s governing body Fifa or the NFF. “Nonetheless, my understanding of the Fifa and NFF Codes of Ethics, particularly Sections 20 of the said codes, is that, gifts of any kind could be accepted by persons bound by the codes which are: of symbolic or trivial value; exclude any influence for the execution or omission on an act that is related to one’s official activities or fall within one’s discretion; are not contrary to one’s duties; do not create any undue pecuniary or other advantage and do not create a conflict of interest.” The country’s football coaches association said it stood by Yusuf, who led Nigeria to the final of this year’s Championship of African Nations (CHAN) in Morocco. Currently undergoing medical treatment in England, Yusuf’s career was previously untainted. The chief coach of the Super Eagles, and first assistant during the World Cup, is due to lead the national team to the Olympics in 2020.
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