*Salisu Yusuf denies taking bribe*
Coach Salisu Yusuf has denied he took money from undercover journalists led by Ghana’s Anas Aremeyaw Anas posing as football agents to select two players for this year’s CHAN in Morocco.
A sting video, which has aired on the various platforms of the BBC showed Yusuf collecting a reported $1,000 to pick two players from the 2017 WAFU Nations Cup in Ghana for the 2018 CHAN in Morocco.
In his prepared defence, Salisu, who is undergoing medical treatment in London, said he neither asked for the money nor did he promise the agents he will pick the players because of the cash they gave him.
He instead that players are picked by his team on merit and their consistency.
Here is the full defence he forwarded to the BBC:
I hereby acknowledge your “PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL” letter of no date, giving me up to 12th July 2018 to respond to the following allegation:
“… as head coach of the Nigerian national team, you accepted $1000 in cash from men who claimed to be football agents representing two Nigerian nationals. One individual said he hoped these two nationals would play in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) before the money was handed over. You accepted the money at the Best Western Plus Atlantic Hotel, Ghana, in September 2017.”
I confirm meeting with two persons in September 2017 at the said Best Western Plus Atlantic Hotel, Ghana where I had lodged, who introduced themselves as football agents to two players whose names I cannot now remember. These individuals spoke to me, among other football related matters, on the possibility of their principals playing in the African Nations Championship in Nigerian colours. I can remember giving them my honest answer to the end that if the said players were found suitable in the selection process, they would indeed be selected. My response was neither a promise nor a commitment, knowing that I was not the sole person saddled with selecting players for any particular game.
There is nothing in the text of your allegation quoted above, indicating that the footage availed you by Anas Aremeyaw Anas and Tiger Eye, points 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.
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. 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.
My understanding of sub-section 2 of section 20 of the Codes, which you partly reproduced in your letter is that, cash gifts are prohibited only in all cases of doubt concerning the five allowances for gifts prescribed by sub-section 1 of section 20.
In any case, I did accept $750 handed to me by one of the two agents to the two Nigerian players only as a gift of trivial and symbolic value and not as an inducement to play the two players represented by the two agents, as Anas Aremeyaw Anas and Tiger Eye would want you to believe.