Nigerians have called for the sacking of Nigerian coach, Salisu Yusuf, after his failure to qualify the country’s U-23 national team for the forthcoming 2023 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations billed for Morocco from June 24 to July 8, 2023.
The U-23 team on Tuesday suffered a 2-0 loss to Guinea in the second leg of their U-23 AFCON qualifiers in Rabat, Morocco, a result that saw the West African nation qualify 2-0 on aggregate after two legs. The U-23 Eagles had played a goalless draw in the first leg at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
Failure to qualify for the U-23 AFCON also means that the country’s men’s team will not feature in the football event of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris having missed out on the football event of the previous Olympics in Japan.
Salisu as coach of the national team has in the past come under criticism. The 61-year-old received a media and national backlash in 2018 after he was seen accepting a cash gift in a video released by BBC Africa following a series of investigations on the state of football in Africa. Yusuf was said to have accepted a bribe after two investigative reporters approached him to include two footballers in his squad at the 2018 African Championship (CHAN).
Aside from his bribery issues which he got suspended for, Yusuf had also failed to qualify the country’s home-based national team for the African Nations Championship in 2020 and 2023.
After the U-23 national team’s failure to qualify for the 2023 AFCON, Nigerians have called for his sack also calling against his reappointment in the future.
“So there will be no Nigeria Male football team at the next Olympics for the 2nd time running. Thanks to Salisu Yusuf. – This one hurts my Soul. Same Salisu that was caught on tape taking bribes!! That has been coaching for years with nothing to show for it. I’m Pissed.” Football journalist Buchi Laba tweeted.
Another Twitter user @unitedyusuf wrote, “Coaches like LADAN BOSSO & SALISU YUSUF have no business coaching any of our National team.”
@devoyce007 said, “Amaju Pinnick should be prosecuted for giving Salisu Yusuf U23 job. That man called Pinnick destroyed us, finished us. Salisu Yusuf has failed Nigeria football. I passionately never want to see him anywhere near our national teams ever again! Such an embarrassment!”