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NFF Says Salisu Yusuf Has Served His Punishment

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has called on Nigerians who are seeking for the removal of the newly appointed coach of Super Eagles B team and the U-23 Olympic team, Salisu Yusuf, over his involvement in a bribe scandal in 2018, to shelve the idea.

Salisu was banned for collecting bribes as an assistant coach of the Super Eagles after he was caught on camera in August 2018 accepting cash from men who posed as football agents to select two players for his squad to Morocco 2018 Africa Nations championship.

NFF First Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, said at Remo Stadium in Ikenne, venue of the 2022 NPFL/La Liga U-15 football tournament, that those painting the football house black for bringing Yusuf back to his national coaching job need to have a rethink.

NFF First Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi (second from left) speaks during unveiling of NPFL/La Liga U-15 tournament holding at the Remo Stadium in Ikenne, Ogun State, Nigeria.

“Yusuf has served his punishment and there is nothing wrong in re-appointing him,” Akinwunmi said.

Salisu was subsequently banned for one year and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 by the NFF Ethics and Fair Play Committee, which ruled that the coach received $1,000 from the men.

Since his re-appointment last week, many Nigerians have criticised the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF, saying that Yusuf has no reason whatsoever to come near national coaching job. Some football analysts also carpeted the NFF saying that it is breeding corrupt coaches.

But the NFF first vice president insists there is nothing wrong with the decision to re-appoint Yusuf.

“There was an issue, not of bribery, but indiscretion,” Akinwunmi added. “Yusuf served his term and it has expired.” 

Asked if the NFF is not encouraging other coaches to take bribe with the reappointment of Yusuf, Akinwunmi responded.

“The fact that he was banned for a while over an offense is enough to serve as deterrent to other coaches,” Akinwunmi said.

Meanwhile, Akinwunmi has urged players featuring in the 2022 edition of the NPFL/La Liga U-15 football tournament at the Remo Stadium to use the opportunity to make good career for themselves. He also tasked the young lads to make friends because, according to him, outside football, there is life.

Akinwunmi revealed that about five or six players in the present Super Eagles squad are close to their retirement age, and the U-15 football tournament would serve as an avenue to pick replacements for them.

 

Chidi Nwoke/The Guardian.

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