Former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia, has said that his team of lawyers are currently working to appeal a ban slammed on him by FIFA on Friday. Football’s world governing body handed Siasia, who managed the Super Eagles between 2010-2011 and for a spell in 2016, the ban on Friday for agreeing to “receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches.”
But the 52-year-old ex-Nantes of France striker, who has also managed his country at U-20 and U-23 level, has said that he will fight to clear his name.
“I’ve not done anything wrong and will continue to fight to clear my name,” he told BBC Sport. “Everything is now in the hands of my legal team.”
The ban is expected to be served at both national and international level. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 50,000 (US$50,000) was also imposed on Siasia.
An associate of Siasia, Prince Opukiri Jones-Ere says his legal representatives are studying the FIFA ruling and will issue a statement in a few days.
“The coach was unable to address the press today (Saturday) as planned because he’s undergoing a lot of stress,” Jones-Ere said.
“His lawyers are studying the ruling and will make an official statement in a few days.”
According to Complete Sports, Siasia said the ban came to him as a shock because at no time was he interrogated by FIFA or any of his agents regarding match fixing or bribery as contained in the FIFA statement.
“I am innocent of the claims by FIFA, and I will challenge it to the highest level. Nobody told me of any investigation and I don’t have any dealings with Wilson Raj Perumal who was investigated for betting by FIFA as claimed by FIFA.
“This is character assassination and I cannot allow it to just go unchallenged. I must get justice because I am innocent. I don’t know where this came from, somebody must be out there trying to ruin me but God will vindicate me” Siasia stated.
The coach whose mother is still being held by kidnappers in Bayelsa wondered why all these things are happening to him at this time. “God will see me through,” he said.
A former international, Siasia won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria and played in the Super Eagles maiden World Cup appearance later that same year. He played over 50 times for his country, scoring 16 goals.
As a coach, he led his country’s Under-20 and U23s to continental success in 2005 and 2015 respectively. He also guided the U-20s to a runner-up finish at the 2005 world youth championship in the Netherlands.
Siasia is the most decorated African football coach at the Olympics, winning silver at the Beijing Games in 2008 and bronze at the 2016 Games in Rio.