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The Nigeria FA to decide on Salisu Yusuf’s return after his ban

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Salisu Yusuf
Salisu Yusuf was Nigeria’s assistant coach at the 2018 World Cup in Russia

The executive committee of the Nigeria Football Federation will decide whether Salisu Yusuf will return as assistant coach of Nigeria and manager of the country’s under-23 team after serving a one-year ban.

The 57-year-old was handed the ban and finedUS$5000 last September after he was caught on camera taking cash from men posing as football agents.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) confirmed the end of his ban and its executive committee will now decide Yusuf’s future.

“Salisu Yusuf’s one-year ban ended on 5 September and he’s now free to return to management again,” Olajire told BBC Sport.

“I must reiterate that Mr Yusuf has not been reinstated as assistant to Gernot Rohr, nor has he taken charge as head coach of the Super Eagles B team or the under-23 side.

“A decision about his return or not will be decided by the NFF executive committee.

“We understand the public interest in this, but a communication to that effect will be made available at the appropriate time.”

Olajire was clarifying an earlier statement from the NFF about end of Yusuf’s ban.

“The Federation thanked Coach Imama Amapakabo for his sterling efforts while in charge of the U23 National Team in the absence of the suspended Yusuf, and for eventually seeing to the team’s qualification for the U23 AFCON.”

Yusuf was highly respected in the West African country as one of the finest local coaches, but his reputation took a dent whenhe was caught on camerataking cash from men who requested that two players be selected for a continental championship.

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He has always denied any wrongdoing, however, his possible return to the national team coaching set up has divided opinion.

Yusuf was assistant to Gernot Rohr at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and led the Nigeria to the final of the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) in Morocco last year.

Nigeria finished third at this year’s Nations in Egypt, while Imama Amapakabosealed a spot at this November’s Under-23 Africa Cup of Nationsfinals in his absence.

The event, which Nigeria won in 2015, serves as a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Olympics, where the top three teams will book their place in Tokyo.

Nigeria – bronze medallists at Rio 2016 – won the 1996 Olympic football tournament and are the first African country to complete an Olympic medal sweep having won a sliver medal in Beijing in 2008.

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