Agents Offer Local Coaches Bribes To Invite Their Players – Amokachi
Former Nigeria captain and coach, Daniel Amokachi has revealed that agents offer local coaches bribe to invite players into the country’s national teams.
Although no one has been found guilty of the accusation, there have long been suspicions it happens in Nigeria.
“Agents always come to give money for their players to be invited to camp,’’ said Amokachi. “Does it have to be so?’’
According to the 43-year-old, who won the Africa Cup of Nations as a player in 1994, it is time people spoke up about the issue.
He said the issue had bedevilled the Nigerian game for a long time.
“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 – Stephen Keshi (2011 to 2015), 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 $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.’’
In a swift reaction, however, the Nigeria Football Federation has asked Amokachi to produce evidence to support his claims.
The NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, said, “I think it is unfair to make such allegations and not mention the names of those involved.
“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.’’
Amokachi, who had a successful career in Europe, said he was inspired to speak out after being accused of the practice himself.
He said, “Someone accused me lately, (saying) “the reason Nigeria did not qualify (for next month’s Nations Cup in Gabon) is because all you coaches demand bribes. You understand? I felt the pain.
“So, if he is painting me as a bad egg among a few, then somebody like me cannot be quiet about it. Coaches will confirm (that) people bring money, but they will not say it.
“Players will confess. Even assistant coaches will confirm this thing is going on. But the system does not allow you because a lot of us are hungry and afraid that `when I say this,I will never be near that office again’.’’
In October, Amokachi asked the national anti-graft agency to investigate high-level corruption blighting football in Nigeria, but he has yet to get feedback.