In embarassing circumstances, a former assistant coach of the Nigerian national team and one time team captain, Daniel Amokachi has slammed the culture of ‘Pay to play’ in Nigerian football.
Amokachi, who currently manages Finnish second tier side JS Hercules has been an assistant to three former national team managers, Stephen Keshi (2011-15), Shaibu Amodu (2008-10) and Austin Eguavoen (2005-2007).
He told BBC Sport, “We know this thing has been going on for a while but we have to voice it,”
“Every time Amodu would tell me: ‘Can you listen to these useless agents that 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.”
It is unclear who his statements are in reference to but his claims are not altogether new in a country where corruption is embedded in virtually every sector.
Nonetheless, the Nigerian Football Federation is unimpressed with Amokachi’s comments, asking that he produce evidence to back his claims. The NFF General Secretary, Muhammed Sanusi told BBC,
“I think it is unfair to make such allegations and not mention the names of those involved,”
“It would 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.”