By Jacob Ajom
Former national team coach, Christian Chukwu has said it is wrong for a coach preparing for a competition or in the middle of a championship to receive ‘gifts’, no matter how harmless they may appear.
Chukwu who was one time captain of the Green Eagles, as the national team was called then said, “if the season is ended and I am on my own then a players’ agent come to me with a present I will take. But if, for instance, you are a players’ manager and you give me money and say, you want me to do something, that is a different thing.”
Chukwu wondered why a manager would still offer a coach money when the players were already in the team. “If we are in a competition with the players, why would their manager offer me money? It does not make sense because for them to be in the team means they are good players,” he said.
But when he was pushed further with the hypothesis that the players manager’s offer was an inducement to influence team selection, Chukwu said, “in that case, I will tell him hold your money; your players are good, they are in my first eleven. Then what am I collecting money for.”
Chukwu said if the undercover reporter who posed as players’ manager brought the money as a gift to Salisu to influence team selection, then that was “no longer a gift.”
He said Nigerians should be patient to hear the ‘real truth’ about the Salisu saga as the report is claiming the coach got $1000 US Dollars while the coach is claiming he got $750 US Dollars.
In another breath, Chukwu said if what he was told about Salisu’s disposition, that his team selection was based on performance, after receiving the gift from the undercover agent, “that means, if the players in question didn’t measure up he wouldn’t play them.”