The undercover Ghanaian investigative journalist, Anas Arameyaw as he has always stated is on a mission to rid African football of any form of corruption.
Anas has on different times filmed top African football officials taking bribes with the sole aim of exposing the rot in the sport and put an end if football in the continent is to move forward and compete shoulder to shoulder with European football.
Prior to the FIFA World Cup in Russia, Anas released a documentary showing African officials allegedly engaging in acts of corruption.
The two-hour film involved Ghana’s football chief Kwesi Nyantakyi and was forced to resign from the top positions he held with FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (Caf).
Also, Adel Range Marwa, a Kenyan World Cup-bound referee who was filmed accepting a cash gift was dropped by Fifa from taking part in the 2018 World Cup.
‘I think that we in Africa would have done better at the world (soccer) stage if we had not allowed people to infiltrate the camps of football setting,’ Anas said in an interview with Reuters.
‘If you had people who will sit down and fix a match and determine what the outcome will be, that is not fair to African football. If referees can sell yellow card, sell red card, sell goals, then you’re looking at a very bleak future of African football.’
Anas said that in addition to hampering Africa’s standing in world football, corruption was also weakening the bonds that the game forges among the people.
“Football is supposed to be a game that unites Africans despite the political differences … our hearts and minds are with football and we must not allow corruption to kill that unity,” he added.
Just as the furore on the Ghanaian football chief and Kenyan referee was dying down slowly, Nigeria’s chief coach Salisu Yusuf became the latest victim of Anas’s football corruption investigations.
Yusuf was caught on camera accepting cash from undercover journalists posing as football agents who wanted him to select two players for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN).
The footage was captured by Anas’s Tiger Eye agency in September 2017.
In the video, published by the BBC, Yusuf, one of Nigeria’s most respected tacticians, is captured accepting a $1,000 bribe, ostensibly to ensure that two players are selected for the CHAN 2018 tournamnet.
He is also offered 15 percent of future player sales if they secure transfers to clubs after the tournament.
The players were not named in the footage, however, according to the video published by the BBC, they were selected for CHAN. No further money was requested or given to Yusuf.
There is no suggestion the money the coach accepted impacted his player selection because he stated performance was going to be the yardstick to call up a player.
It will be noted that the CHAN 2018 tournament which took place in Morocco between January and February saw the ‘home based’ Super Eagles the final, where they were defeated 4-1 by the hosts.
However, in a statement directed to the BBC, the 56-year-old coach admitted receiving money but denied any wrongdoing.
‘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,’ Yusuf said.
Meanwhile, Salisu may have run foul of FIFA’s code of ethics, Section 5, subsection 2, no 2o which states the following
- Persons bound by this Code may only offer or accept gifts or other benefits to and from persons within or outside FIFA, or in conjunction with intermediaries or related parties as defined in this Code, which
- a) have symbolic or trivial value;
- b) exclude any influence for the execution or omission of an act that is related to their official activities or falls within their discretion;
- c) are not contrary to their duties;
- d) do not create any undue pecuniary or other advantage and
- e) do not create a conflict of interest.
Any gifts or other benefits not meeting all of these criteria are prohibited.
- If in doubt, gifts shall not be offered or accepted. In all cases, persons bound by this Code shall not offer to or accept from anyone within or outside FIFA cash in any amount or form.
According to Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, the organization would launch an internal investigation.