Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has reacted to the bribery scandal involving one of his assistants, Salisu Yusuf.
Mr Yusuf was videoed collecting money on camera in a sting operation carried out by Ghanaian Investigative reporter Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Though Rohr was definitive that Yusuf will not be on the bench with the rest of the technical crew when the Super Eagles begin preparations for their Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON qualifying match away to Seychelles, he maintained his ‘trust’ in the embattled coach.
Rohr said in Lagos: “Unfortunately, at this tournament (WAFU in Ghana) … he was approached, some guys said we must get two players in the CHAN team, but they (the players) are already in the team. The mistake he did was that he collected the money.
“I have worked with Salisu for close to two years and I trust him. But he won’t be with us in Victoria for Seychelles’ game because there is a FIFA inquest on the matter and the NFF has inaugurated a panel to probe what transpired in the unfortunate incident.”
The Franco-German added: “Salisu is a victim of circumstance. He fell for a trap. He was naive”.
“But I must say that he is an honest, loyal and good coach. He will not be with us in the next games because he is under investigation and we will have to accept that.”
Mr Yusuf is the head coach of the Super Eagles B team. He is also an assistant to Rohr in the main Eagles team that last competed at the Russia 2018 World Cup.
In the undercover report aired on the BBC, Mr Yusuf was caught on camera taking cash from men posing as football agents.
After a conversation about player selection, the head coach is seen taking a handful of cash.
The impostors wanted two Nigerian players to be picked in the (then) upcoming African Nations Championships.
After Mr Yusuf had taken the money, they alluded to other incentives like the coach getting 15 per cent of the player’s contract after their selection.
Mr Yusuf, who has maintained his innocence in all this saga, is one of the most respected coaches in Nigerian football.
He was originally scheduled to lead the national team to the Olympics in 2020 but there are insinuations that the NFF is already shopping for another hand to carry out that task.
Aside from announcing that they will be investigating the bribery issue weeks back, the NFF is yet to make any other categorical statement.