A viral video was released online to BBC Africa Eye by renowned Ghanaian Investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, of a Nigerian Football Super Eagles Coach receiving a bribe of $1,000 from a journalist posing as a player’s agent.
Yusuf is smiling excitedly after receiving the $1,000 as given by the journalist. The video was filmed in September 2017, ahead of the African Nations Championship (CHAN). Aremeyaw’s undercover journalist posed as a football agent so that the coach would select two Super Eagles players to play for their country at the championship.
Watch the video of him receiving the supposed bribe below:
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/O3RQTYJTJK
— BBC News Africa (@BBCAfrica) July 24, 2018
Yusuf claimed he did nothing wrong, that he didn’t agree to swipe players in exchange for money as the video implied. He said that there was no pointer in the video that he indeed received any bribe, “rather the agent only handed the money to him after expressing ‘hope’ that the players would play in the championship”. Yusuf added that he accepted cash not of $1,000 but of $750 and that it wasn’t a bribe because Section 20 of the FIFA and NFF codes of ethics explain that
“gifts of any kind could be accepted by person’s bound by the codes which are of trivial / symbolic value: excluding any influence for the execution or omission on an act that is related to ones official activities or fall within ones discretion: are not contrary to ones duties; do not create a conflict of interest”
At the hearing of the matter, Olajire the spoke person of the committee explained the decision of the matter as thus:
“Established from the admission of Coach Yusuf and also found as a fact from the documentary and video evidence before it, that he accepted the cash gift of 1,000 US dollars 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 Committee found as a fact that it was not an error of judgment on the part of Coach Yusuf but a conscious and deliberate decision to have accepted the cash gift of 1,000 US dollars from the decoy player agent/undercover reporter, purportedly interested in acting on behalf of Players Osas Okoro and Rabiu Ali, even though the evidence before the Committee did not establish that his conduct influenced the choice of the two players.
That the two Players could have made the team to 2018 CHAN Competition in Morocco on the basis of their talent and performance.
That Coach Yusuf did not accept the offer of 15 per cent of the anticipated transfer fees of the said players, as there was no follow–up action on the promise.
That the act of the Coach, which was widely published on the British Broadcasting Corporation, has a damaging effect on the reputation and integrity of Nigerian Football, as he ought to have conducted himself more professionally in line with the Code of Conduct signed alongside his Contract with the Nigeria Football Federation, as his conduct in public and in secret should be exemplary, since coaches are role models.
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, as punitive measures must be adopted to serve as deterrent to other intending offenders, even though, that he is a first time offender.”
Yusuf has been banned for one year and filed $5,000. He can also appeal the decision to the Nigerian Football Federation Appeal Committee.