Former Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles, Joseph Erico, has denied knowledge of football agents giving Nigerian coaches financial inducement to invite their players into the senior national team for any international engagement.
Former Eagles forward and Assistant Coach, Daniel Amokachi, on Friday, revealed that the practice of local coaches being bribed to invite players into the country’s national teams is a common thing.
According to Amokachi, the disclosure became necessary after someone accused him that the Eagles failed to qualify for AFCON because they demanded bribes.
The current manager of Finnish second tier side JS Hercules, who voiced out, not in The Guardian, said “agents always come to give money for their players to be invited to camp. Does it have to be so? 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 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.”
Speaking to The Guardian, yesterday, Erico said the claim was strange to him, because he never heard of it throughout his career as an assistant coach of the Eagles.
“I must be frank with you sincerely, between I and my God, what he revealed I never heard of it throughout my career, as the assistant coach of the Eagles. In Nigerian football, I have always told the people the truth, but I do not mind what people say afterward, but I still thank my God.
“Maybe they did those things behind my back, I do not know. But if Amokachi can say that, well that is their business. All that I know is that I have never received money from anybody. I do not even know any of the agents while I was there,” he said.
The former coach of the defunct Julius Berger Football Club, however, said: “If that is the case, then maybe that is why we are like this. I must be frank with you, I do not know anything about this. I am yet to read the full text of his allegation, maybe I will find time to read it.
“Definitely, if I had seen something like that, I would have mentioned it long ago. I am not afraid of anybody, I have served this nation meritoriously. I am too old for that, I will be 70 soon, so why should I be afraid of anyone? What is bad is bad, what is good is good. I try to do my coaching job, as diligent as possible and as good as possible. As for this revelation by Amokachi, I do not know anything about it,” he concluded.