Salisu Yusuf is facing the sack as Nigeria assistant coach after he was caught on camera allegedly receiving $1,000 bribe from men posing as football agents to select two unnamed players for his Morocco 2018 African Nations Championship squad.
In a BBC footage published last week, the coach, who helped Nigeria win silver at the 2018 CHAN, was promised 15 per cent of the fee if the players made his squad for the tournament.
The Nigeria Football Federation has since announced they are investigating the allegation against the 56-year-old former Enyimba coach, who is currently seeking treatment to his ailing leg abroad.
“It’s true that the NFF has commenced a preliminary investigation into the matter to assist the Committee on Ethics and Fairplay,” NFF director of communications Ademola Olajire told BBC Sport.
“This is a very sensitive matter and a proper investigation is required by the football authorities.”
However, Punch correspondent learnt that the NFF has allegedly decided to fire Salisu, who has denied any wrongdoing, saying the money was a gift and that he selected his squad on merit. He said he received $750 from one of the men, not $1000.
It was gathered that the embattled NFF is unhappy with the development and has decided to axe the former Kano Pillars coach, who doubles as manager of the national Under-23 team.
Although the NFF has yet to establish a case of bribery against Salisu, it was learnt that the body is not happy that he accepted money from the agent, whether it was a bribe or a gift as published by the BBCfootage.
It was learnt that the federation was at first divided whether to fire the coach or retain his services, but in the end the leadership allegedly agreed that Salisu should be sent packing following the negative publicity generated by the video.
It was also learnt that some of the NFF officials who want the coach out reminded those opposing that those filmed either demanding receiving bribes or gifts in other parts of the world were forced out of their jobs.
However, sources told Punch that the former Nasarawa United manager is not taking chances, as he is allegedly working behind the scenes to save his job.
It was learnt that he has allegedly reached out to some influential persons to help him retain his job.