Football

NFF Bans Salisu Yusuf From All Football Related Activities, Plus Fine

Salisu-Yusuf-BribeThe Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has banned coach Salisu Yusuf for a year and fined him US$5000.

The sanctions were imposed on Yusuf, 56, following an NFF investigation into bribery allegations.

He was caught on camera taking cash from men posing as football agents, who requested that two players be selected for a continental championship.

The names of the players were not disclosed and Yusuf has denied any wrongdoing.

He appeared before an NFF ethics committee in the capital Abuja on Thursday.

The probe was prompted by footage captured by Ghanaian investigative journalist Anas Aremayaw Anas and handed to the BBC’s Africa Eye investigation programme.

The committee said the ban was from “all football-related activities at both national and international level” adding that “an appeal against the decision can be made to the NFF Appeals Committee”.

An NFF said in a statement “found as a fact from the documentary and video evidence before it, that he accepted the cash gift of $1,000.

“[He] 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.”

He insisted at the time that the money was a gift and that the players were selected on merit and he is yet to say whether he will appeal the sanctions.

There is nothing in the allegation pointing 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,” he said in a right of reply.

“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.”

Yusuf was assistant to Gernot Rohr at the recent World Cup in Russia and led the Nigeria to the final of this year’s Championship of African Nations (CHAN) in Morocco.

In its report submitted to the NFF Secretariat on Tuesday, days after inviting the coach to state his own side of matters, the Committee, chaired by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, said it:

1) Established from the admission of Coach Salisu Yusuf and also found as a fact from the documentary and video evidence before it, that he accepted the cash gift of $1,000 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.

2) The Committee found as a fact that it was not an error of judgment on the part of Coach Salisu Yusuf but a conscious and deliberate decision to have accepted the cash gift of $1,000 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.

3) That the two Players could have made the team to 2018 CHAN Competition in Morocco on the basis of their talent and performance.

4) That Coach Salisu Yusuf did not accept the offer of 15% of the anticipated transfer fees of the said players, as there was no follow –up action on the promise.

5) 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.

6) 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.

Committee’s decision: “In accordance with Art. 22, FIFA Disciplinary Code, he is hereby banned for the period of one year, from partaking or involvement or participation in any football related activity, effective from the date of this decision. He is also fined in the sum of $5,000 to be paid within three (3) months of the date of this decision…” The Committee also ruled that an appeal against the decision can be made to the NFF Appeals Committee.

With Alhaji Mainasara Illo (Member), Reverend Justin Chidi Okoroji (Member) and Barr. Joshua Onoja (Secretary) also present, the Committee said it passed its verdict of guilt on the defendant based on Art. 20, as well as Art. 21 (1) and 21 (3) of the NFF Code of Ethics. It also made reference to Art. 10 and 11 of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

Art. 20: “Persons bound by this Code may only offer or accept gifts or other benefits to and from persons within or outside NFF, or in conjunction with intermediaries or related parties as defined in this Code, which i) have symbolic or trivial value ii) exclude any influence for the execution or omission of an act that is related to their official activities or falls within their discretion iii) are not contrary to their duties iv) did not create any undue pecuniary or other advantage and v) did not create a conflict of interest.

Art 21 (1): “Persons bound by this Code must not offer, promise, give or accept any personal or undue pecuniary advantage or other advantage in order to obtain or retain business or any other improper advantage to or from anyone within or outside NFF. Such acts are prohibited; regardless of whether carried out directly or indirectly through, or in conjunction with, intermediaries or related parties as defined in this Code. In particular, persons bound by this Code must not offer, promise, give or accept any undue pecuniary or other advance for the execution or omission of an act that is related to their official activities and is contrary to their duties or falls within their discretion. Any such offer must be reported to the Ethics Committee and any failure to do so shall be sanctionable in accordance with this Code.”

Art. 21 (3): “Persons bound by this Code must refrain from any activity or behaviour that might give rise to the appearance or suspicion of improper conduct as described in the foregoing sections, or any attempt thereof.”

Before the Committee’s sitting, the NFF Integrity Unit headed by Dr. Christian Emeruwa, which commenced preliminary investigation when the documentary was first made public, had already submitted a report to the NFF General Secretary based on its work.

Iker
the authorIker
Writer
Chemical Engineering student, Social media enthusiast, I'm a newsophile, the dashboard is my office...My friends call me a Fadden Blogger but you can call me Iker 😉

Leave a Reply