The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Committee on Ethics and Fair Play has banned Super Eagles’ Chief Coach Salisu Yusuf from all football–related activities for one year with immediate effect.
The four-man committee’s decision was announced in a statement by Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Members of the committee were Malam Nuhu Ribadu (Chairman), Mainasara Illo, Rev. Justin Okoroji and Mr Joshua Onoja (Secretary).
He also said that Coach Salisu had been directed to pay 5,000 US dollars as a fine to NFF within three months.
According to him, this decision was sequel to a complaint forwarded by the NFF as well as the Coach’s defence against a documentary in which he was seen accepting 1,000 US dollars from an undercover reporter disguising as a player’s agent.
Olajire said that the Ribadu-led Committee made the following submissions:
“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 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 Salisu 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.”
Olajire also said that the Committee’s decision was as follows: “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 US dollars to be paid within three (3) months beginning from the date of this decision.”
He noted that the ethics committee also ruled that an appeal against the decision can be made to the NFF Appeals Committee.
The NFF’s spokesman quoted the committee as saying that it passed its verdict on the defendant based on Article 20, 21 (1) and 21 (3) of the NFF Code of Ethics.
He explained that it also made reference to Article 10 and 11 of the FIFA Code of Ethics in arriving at its verdict.