Siasia draws battle line with FIFA over football ban

Former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia on Saturday appealed for calm over news of his life ban from the game by world football governing body FIFA on Friday.

Siasia was banned for life from the game following a match-fixing probe by FIFA.

Siasia, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja through an associate, Prince Opukiri Jones-Ere at the main bowl of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, said the matter was currently being looked into by his lawyer.

The former Super Eagles forward said he was hopeful of a positive conclusion of the matter.

“We want to please plead with everyone to be  calm as the issue has been handed over to a lawyer and he is looking at the case.

“So, at this moment, Siasia will be unavailable to speak to the press.

“I want to also appeal to you all to be patient with us, considering the fact that he is already going through so much stress with regards to his mother’s kidnap which we are dealing with at the moment.

“We appreciate you all for your concerns and solidarity messages which have been received from the onset of this situation.

“So, my kind appeal is that you all give us some time for the lawyer to look into the case and as soon as possible, hopefully by next week, we will come up with our position and further action to be taken on the issue.

“On behalf of the family of Siasia, we want to once again thank you for your concerns and we pray that this will end well,” he said.

FIFA had said in a statement on Friday that the adjudicatory chamber of their independent Ethics Committee found the 51-year-old Siasia guilty.

He was “guilty of having accepted that he will receive bribes in relation to  manipulation of matches in violation of FIFA Code of Ethics.”

Siasia played 51 times as a striker for the Nigerian national team and later coached various national youth sides before his first spell as senior coach in 2010.

His case is the latest to emerge from FIFA’s long-running investigation into the activities of Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, whom FIFA has called a “known match fixer”.

He has admitted such activity in several interviews.

FIFA said Siasia was banned for life “from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international levels.”

Siasia was also fined CHF 50,000 (41,997.1 pounds).

The former Nigerian international was appointed Super Eagles head coach from 2010 to Oct. 2011 and he was reappointed in 2016.

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