Bribery: Group Faults Reinstatement of Indicted Nigerian Coach, Salisu Yusuf, Calls For Reversal - GIST NOWNOW
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Bribery: Group Faults Reinstatement of Indicted Nigerian Coach, Salisu Yusuf, Calls For Reversal

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A group, PLAYYA Nigeria Youth Development Initiative has expressed disappointment over the reinstatement of the former Assistant Super Eagles coach, Mr Salisu Yusuf, who was allegedly indicted in 2018 by the Ethics Committee of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) for collection of bribes and manipulation of members of the national team. 

The group said rewarding an indicted official with reinstatement would encourage corruption and 

fraud. 



A statement signed by the Executive Director of the group, Eze Allosyius called for the immediate reversal of the reinstatement so as not to set a dangerous precedent.  

The statement also asked the NFF to transfer the case file of its Ethics Committee to Nigerian anti-graft agencies like the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution in a regular court of law. 










The statement read in part, “Mr Yusuf was the head coach of the Super Eagles Team B and assistant to the national team coach, Mr Gernot Rohr. He was caught on camera by Ghanaian investigative journalists posing as agents to several players. 

“During the sting operation, which was widely publicised in national and international media, Mr Yusuf was seen collecting cash in US dollars from the supposed agents who had asked him to field certain players in the upcoming African Nations Cup championship.

“He was further promised 15 percent of the players’ contract after their selection into the team. 

As against the figure quoted by the investigators who caught Mr Yusuf, he eventually agreed to receive $750 as a “gift of trivial and symbolic value”, while the NFF Ethics Committee found him guilty of collecting the sum of $1,000 in bribes. 

He was therefore banned from any football activities for one year and asked to pay a fine of $5,000. 

The group attributed sports underdevelopment in Nigeria to bribery and corruption, alleging that they characterised Amaju Pinnick-led NFF, ranging from shoddy deals of Nike contracts related to the hiring of Mr Rohr to inflated welfare and allowances of national team members. 

“It is, therefore, no surprise that the public will view Mr Yusuf’s reinstatement as a sign of the NFF being comfortable working with confessed and convicted criminals (according to the very own NFF Ethics Committee),” the statement added.



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BREAKING: Lionel Messi Wins 2021 Ballon d’Or

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Argentine footballer, Lionel Messi, has won the 2021 Ballon d’Or — the award for the best soccer player on the planet within a particular year.

Messi defeated closest rival, Robert Lewandoski to win the prize for a record seventh time.



The former Barcelona superstar, who moved to Paris Saint Germain earlier this year, won the award after leading Argentina to the Copa America title.

The star-studded event, which was held at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris, France, on Monday evening, saw Italian and Chelsea of London midfielder, Jorginho, emerging third on the log.

Messi now has two more Ballon d’Or award than Cristiano Ronaldo, who finished a distant sixth in this year’s contest.



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Nigerian Journalist Asks Liverpool Coach, Klopp To Apologise For Calling African Competition ‘Little Tournament’

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A Nigerian journalist, Babatunde Ojora has asked Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp to apologise for regarding the African Cup of Nations as a little tournament.

The Liverpool manager, following his side’s 2-0 win against Porto, was called up on what he said on Saturday when he described the Africa Cup of Nations a ‘little tournament’ while talking about international breaks. 



But Ojoro who works with OJB Sports demanded an apology and believed Klopp would never say a ‘little tournament in Europe’

“Hi Jurgen, during your last pre-match presser, you deliberately called the Africa Cup of Nations a “little tournament”.

“I think it’s an insult to the players, an insult to the fans, an insult to the people on the continent and I think you owe the continent an apology,” he told the coach.

A taken aback Klopp replied, “I didn’t mean it like that, come on,” Klopp said. “So I was not even close to it being the idea in my mind that I want to talk about the African Cup of Nations as a ‘little tournament’ or the continent of Africa as a little continent, not at all.

“What I meant was, if you watch the whole press conference then you might have understood it the right way if you wanted to, because I said there are no international breaks until March now.

“‘I said ‘oh there’s a little tournament in January’ and I didn’t mean a little tournament, I was just saying it’s still a tournament, it’s ironic. It’s still a tournament, a big one. We lose our best players to that tournament…”

The journalist retorted and said, “But you wouldn’t say that in Europe, you wouldn’t say a ‘little tournament in Europe…'”

“I am not a native speaker but if you want to understand me wrong, you can do that all the time,” Klopp replied.

“I know that I would never think like this. I don’t understand why you thought this to be honest, but that’s really not OK as I would never do that. But that is it now.”



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Real Madrid Striker, Benzema Bags One-Year Jail Term Over Sex Tape

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France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, was sentenced to a one-year suspended jail term on Wednesday. 

He was found guilty of complicity in the attempted blackmail of a former international teammate over a sex tape.



The Versailles court also fined him €75,000 ($84,170) and ordered him to pay former teammate, Mathieu Valbuena €80,000 to cover legal costs and €150,000 in damages together with his three other co-accused.

However, Benzema’s lawyer has vowed to appeal against the verdict.

Benzema, who had denied any wrongdoing, was not in court. He is due to play for Real Madrid against Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol later in the day.

“This outcome in no way corresponds with the reality of events,” lawyer Antoine Vey told reporters afterwards.

Earlier this month, President of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, said Benzema would not be excluded from the national team if he was convicted and given the suspended sentence prosecutors wanted.

“The coach will always be responsible for his selection and Benzema will not be left out because of an eventual judicial sanction,” Le Graet told Le Parisien.

Prosecutors had argued that Benzema had encouraged Valbuena to pay a suspected group of blackmailers to keep the sexually explicit tape out of the public eye.

They said Valbuena got the first of several phone calls threatening to reveal the tape in June 2015.

Valbuena had told the court it was clear the caller wanted money and that the blackmail attempt left him scared for his career and place in the national squad.

The Real Madrid striker was recruited by the alleged blackmailers to encourage Valbuena to pay as his teammate stalled, the prosecution had added.

The French footballer had shown no goodwill to Valbuena and pretended to have his best interests at heart, the judges said in their written ruling.

Benzema had “deliberately helped the authors of the attempted blackmail of Valbuena,” they added.

Both Benzema and Valbuena lost their places in the national team in the wake of the scandal, dubbed the “sex tape affair.”

Benzema, 33, who has played more than 90 times for his country, was recalled to the France squad for this year’s European Championship.

Among Benzema’s co-defendants were childhood friend Karim Zenati, who acted as an intermediary, and Mustapha Zouaoui, one of the suspected architects of the scam.

All four defendants were found guilty in connection with the attempted blackmail.



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