Amokachi opens up says agents bribe coaches to invite players

By Femi Adefioye, Lagos
A former captain of the Super Eagles, Mr. Daniel Amokachi has opened a can of worms, saying local coaches are usually bribed to invite players into the country’s national teams.
“Agents always come to give money for their players to be invited to camp,’’ said Amokachi. “Does it have to be so?’’
In a swift reaction however, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has asked Amokachi to produce evidence to support his claims.
The 43-year-old, who won the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) as a player in 1994, says it is time people spoke up about the issue, saying it is bedevilling the game.
“We know this thing has been going on for a while but we have to voice it,” the current manager of Finnish second tier side JS Hercules said.
Previously, Amokachi worked as an assistant to three former Super Eagles coaches, namely late Stephen Keshi (2011 to 2015), late Shaibu Amodu (2008 to 2010) and Austin Eguavoen (2005 to 2007).
He said that all three used to complain about the practice.
“Every time Amodu would tell me: `Can you imagine these useless agents who are calling me? They want to give me US$10,000, $20,000 and $30,000 to bring their players in.’ But he’s a man of integrity and wouldn’t take it. I worked with Keshi and it was the same scenario. With Eguavoen, it was the same.
“If these three names mentioned had not had integrity, definitely they would have fallen victim.’’
But Mohammed Sanusi, the NFF General Secretary, rejected Amokachi’s allegations, while also calling on him to furnish the organisation with more information.
“I think it is unfair to make such allegations and not mention the names of those involved,’’ Sanusi said.
“It will be fair if he mentions the names of those who have either approached him or approached some people to give them money. He should also mention people who he knew collected money. I think that will be the best way to go about it.
“I have not heard of this issue from any quarter and I can tell you that the NFF will not tolerate this kind of behaviour.
“If Amokachi has evidence of what he has said he should bring it forward and we will take it up.’’

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