After a video documentary by a Ghanaian journalist Anas Aremayaw Anas showing Salisu Yusuf, the Nigerian national football team chief coach, taking a $1,000 bribe, an investigation was started by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) Committee on Ethics and Fair Play. Earlier today, they put out a statement saying that they fined Yusuf $5,000 and banned him from all football activities, national and international, for a year.
Salisu Yusuf sat next to Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr at this year’s World Cup in Russia and in the final of the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) in February. Yusuf was filmed taking a bribe from undercover reporters posing as football agents, asking him to include two players, whose names weren’t published, in the squad for the CHAN 2018 tournament. In a statement by Yusuf, after the decision to fine and ban him, he said that he thought it was a gift but knows he shouldn’t have taken the money.
Based on articles 20 and 21 from the NFF Code of Ethics, no one associated with the NFF, player or staff, basically no one who is bound by this code, may at any point accept gifts from anyone inside or outside the NFF which are defined by the Code or get themselves into a conflict of interests. The NFF Integrity Unit investigated these breaches and handed the finished report to the NFF General Secretary. The NFF accepted the report, but have taken into consideration Yusuf’s explanation of events and the fact that he didn’t accept the offer of 15% of the transfer fees which were expected for the two players. He also didn’t follow up on the promise to include the players in question in the squad. This is why they just fined him $5,000 which is around 60% of his monthly wage. His annual earnings as a coach for the Eagles are around the region of $3 million.
According to Article 22 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, he is also banned from national or international football activities for a period of one year. The NFF further said in their statement that, because the report was aired by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Africa Eye investigation program to an international audience, Coach Yusuf has damaged the reputation and integrity of Nigerian football. They go on to mention that coaches should be acting professionally and serve as examples to players.
Salisu Yusuf is free to appeal this decision to the NFF’s Appeals Committee.