BY Amaechi Agbo
Nigeria Football Federation, (NFF) will investigate the bribery allegation against home-based Super Eagles coach, Salisu Yusuf.
The embattled Secretary- General of the NFF, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi who disclosed this to newsmen, assured that the football federation will carry out a thorough inquest into the scandal.
In a sting operation masterminded by Ghanaian investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas and aired on the BBC, Yusuf was caught on camera taking cash from men posing as football agents.
Despite calls for the sack of the Head Coach of Super Eagles Team B and the national U-23 team, Sanusi said the NFF won’t be rushed into taking any decision for or against the coach.
He said there are always two sides to a story so the federation will set up an investigative panel to look into the matter.
“There is no official position yet on the bribery allegation against Salisu Yusuf who is one of our national team coaches. You know in this kind of thing; you have to be careful in order not to complicate matters.
“The only thing I can say for now is that we are setting up internal mechanism to look into the matter. We are not going to sweep it under the carpet.
“The allegation is serious and will be given all the necessary attention. The NFF on its part has always done its best to meet up with all financial obligations to its coaches,” he said.
Yusuf was a member of the Super Eagles coaching crew at the just concluded FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Also on Thursday, the Nigeria Football Coaches Association threw their weight behind Coach Salisu Yusuf.
The association, in a communiqué signed by its chairman Ladan Bosso, said Yusuf should not be held liable for any wrongdoing even though they respect the FIFA code of ethics.
Bosso, who is also the head coach of the Nigeria Professional Football League club, FC IfeanyiUbah, says that Salisu can’t stoop low to collect the pittance given to him.
“It is clear to the blind that the coach’s stand wasn’t distorted by the “triviality” of the pecuniary gift made to him. The players in question prior to the issuance of the gift had already made the team and were in fact among the pillars of the team,” reads the statement.
“We do not think that the integrity and reputation of football has been affected by this though we shall investigate further as it dents the reputation of our association and members.
“Again, we think that the coach should be commended for stating clearly that players’ selection is based on performance. It makes no sense that our colleague who earns over 3 million Naira would stoop so low for pittance of $750/1000, which does not compare to the salary he earns. The trivial nature of what he received is the issue.”
“This our member has debunked in his response to BBC. To this effect we stand with our member pending further investigations to ascertain if there are any breaches of ethics,” the Nigerian Coaches’ statement read further.
“As a body, we shall investigate further this matter and where need be sanction or caution our colleague.”