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FIFA hammer awaits Nigerian football coach Salisu if…

Salisu Yusuf, a coach with Nigeria’s national men’s football team is to face FIFA sanctions if allegations that he collected bribe to influence a match outcome is proved beyond reasonable doubt

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Salisu Yusuf, a coach with Nigeria’s national men’s football team is to face FIFA sanctions if allegations that he collected bribe to influence a match outcome is proved beyond reasonable doubt.

He was caught on camera accepting money from men posing as football agents to influence his squad selection for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN).

Said to have been captured in September 2017 by controversial journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who was also behind the scandal that rocked the Ghanian Football Federation that led to the resignation of president Kwasi Nyantakyi, the incident brings to fore the rot in the football system.

Yusuf was coach of home-based Super Eagles to CHAN last February in Morocco, where they finished as runners-up to the hosts.

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The footage, which saw the coach pocketing $1000 (N360,000) to pick two players for the championship, was broadcasted by BBC Africa Eye on Tuesday.

In the video, one of the ‘agents’ told Yusuf,“ So if anything goes through and these players are able to get their contracts, you will get 15% of that contract,” to which the 56-year old replied; “they will be in CHAN.”

Yusuf has since denied the allegation, insisting that he did not promise or commit to selecting any player for the competition, also clarifying that he received $750 not the $1000 claimed in the report – an amount he says falls within the gifts FIFA code allows.

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Botswana sprint star Letsile Tebogo speaks of ambition to match Usain Bolt as world’s greatest

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Botswana sprint star, Letsile Tebogo, has talked of his ambition to match his idol, Usain Bolt, with the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics kicking off in July in the horizon.

Tebogo who had been tipped by many as the next big star in the world of athletics, has also not been resting on his oars as he has backed up his desire with some impressive performances in the circuit by winning silver in 100m and bronze in 200m at the 2023 World Championships.

The 20-year-old also started the 2024 season like a house on fire, first running a world leading 19.94 in 200m at the ASA Athletics Grand Prix in Johannesburg, South Africa, before lowering his personal best in 400m with a time of 44.29 in Pretoria in March.

Before then, he had shattered the 300m world record in February, clocking an impressive 30.69 at the Simbine Curro Classic, a time that was a better than those managed by Bolt and US legend, Michael Johnson.

And with Olympics looming, Tebogo told sport journalists he has set “lofty ambitions” for himself and believes a good outing in Paris will put him on the road to becoming one of the greats like his idol.

“He (Bolt) is my idol – the person I most look up to. What he achieved was truly amazing. Whenever he ran, I watched him on TV,” Tebogo said.

“Everyone remembers Usain and I would love them to remember me too when I hang up my running shoes. I do not have to be the number one of all time – being among the top three will do just fine.”

Tebogo is seeking to become the second athlete from his country to win an Olympics medal after Nijel Amos claimed silver at the 2012 London edition.

He also believes Africa has great potential in the sprints and the time to show it on a global stage has come.

“The time has come for African athletes to dominate sprint events on the international stage,” the University of Oregon undergraduate said.

Tebago was the first African to win a medal in 100m at the World Championships last year, and since then, has continued to tower above his competitors in sprints.

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Three African athletes under investigation for allegedly fixing Beijing Half Marathon to favor Chinese runner

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Three African marathon runners, Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat both from Kenya, and Dejene Hailu from Ethiopia, are under investigation after they were accused of fixing the Beijing Half Marathon race by deliberately allowing a Chinese athlete, He Jie, to win.

The incident which occurred on Sunday at the 13-mile run and captured on video, saw the African runners who were all in the lead deliberately making way for He Jie, a member of China’s marathon team and national marathon record holder, at the finish line.

The 25-year-old Chinese runner won the half-marathon in a time of 1:03:44, just one second ahead of the trio after all four had run together for the entire race.

After the video went viral, the
Beijing Half Marathon organisers, the Beijing Sports Competition Management and International Exchange Centre, released a statement saying the incident is being investigated.

Mnangat who seemingly admitted the fraud, later told the South China Morning Post he let He Jie win “because he is my friend,” but however added he was not given any financial reward for doing so.

The South China Morning Post which reported the incident in a write up on Monday, said that in the controversial video, the three athletes can be seen gesturing towards the finish line and apparently slowing their pace to let He, the 2023 Asian Games marathon gold medalist, take the lead and ultimately win the race by a narrow one-second margin in a gesture that seemed orchestrated.

The Beijing Sports Bureau has also confirmed that an investigation was underway.

“We are taking this matter very seriously and will communicate the findings to the public once the investigation is complete,” an official from the Bureau stated in a statement.

This incident has however, sparked a significant backlash on Weibo, China’s leading social media platform, where users expressed disappointment and frustration.

“This will certainly be the most embarrassing championship in He Jie’s career,” one user posted, while another user said “with such a major organizer and such a well-known event, this really pushes sportsmanship to the ground in shame.”

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