More Worries for Siasia as CAS Appeal Runs into Hitch over N36m Fee

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  • May take his mother’s kidnap case to President Buhari

Duro Ikhazuagbe

Embattled former Super Eagles Chief Coach, Samson Siasia, revealed Wednesday that he needs almost US$100,000 (about N36 million) to pay before the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Switzerland can start to process his appeal against the life ban slammed on him by FIFA last month.

On August 16, FIFA said in a statement that the Adjudicatory Chamber of its Independent Ethics Committee found the 51-year-old Siasia guilty of accepting to receive bribes in relation to manipulation of matches in violation of the code of ethics of the soccer governing body.

Siasia who pleaded not guilty, claiming that he was not given the opportunity to defend himself against the allegations opted to appeal the case before CAS in the bid to clear his name from the scandal.

But now, the fee of 100, 000 Swiss franc (about N36 million) required by CAS to hear the appeal has created another headache for the ex international whose mother is still with kidnappers demanding for N50 million ransome.

Speaking on telephone yesterday, Siasia revealed that he needs to raise this money now before the deadline of October 10 otherwise it will all be over for him as a coach and football business.

“CAS said we have to pay 100,000 Swiss francs. That’s almost a 100,000 to start the Appeal. It’s crazy! But if I don’t pay before the 10th of October, my appeal will be off their schedule,” stressed an obvious embattled coach.

Sadly too, there appears to be no headway in the kidnapping case of his mother.

Almost three months after his mother, Mrs Ogere Siasia, 76, was kidnapped from her home in Bayelsa State, there appears to be no trace of her.

Siasia who has been out of paid employment for more than three years now is at a loss on how to raise the N50million demanded by the kidnappers to free his mother.

“My mum is with kidnappers for almost three months now, friends and my government in Bayelsa have abandoned me. At this stage, I have decided to take my case to President Muhammadu Buhari since I have exhausted all other avenues and they are yielding anything,” cried Siasia who won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations with Super Eagles and played in Nigeria’s maiden World Cup appearance later that same year at USA.

Siasia is perhaps Africa’s most decorated indigenous gaffer at the Olympic having won both silver and bronze at Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016 respectively. He also led Nigeria to silver medal finish at the U-20 FIFA World Cup in Holland in 2005.

Meanwhile, a former member of the House of Representatives Alhaja Ayo Omidiran has added her voice to calls for the kidnappers to free Siasia’s mother.

Mrs Omidiran who is also a former board member of the NFF said on her Twitter handle @ayomidiran yesterday that she was pleading on behalf of Nigerian mothers for the kidnappers to free Siasia’s mother.

“On behalf of all Nigerian mothers, I plead for the release of the mother of Coach Samson Siasia from kidnappers holding her since July, 2019. Please assist us to free the hapless woman.”