Ban: I’m facing most trying period, says Siasia

Former Super Eagles’ coach, Samson Siasia, says he is going through a difficult time after FIFA handed him a life ban.

While urging Nigerians and the Nigeria Football Federation to assist him, Siasia said his career was built on integrity, hard work and consistency.

World football governing body FIFA on August 16 said in a statement that the adjudicatory chamber of its independent Ethics Committee found the 51-year-old Siasia guilty of match-fixing.

FIFA banned Siasia for life from all football-related activities and also fined him $50,000

But Siasia insisted that he knew nothing about the match-fixing allegation while addressing newsmen on the life ban.

He said, “I must state that this is the most trying period of my life. I am still dealing with the pain and challenges of my mother being kidnapped again and fighting to secure her release.

“I urge the nation to support me with prayers, goodwill and support of all kinds. The demands are very heavy.

“I built my career in the football industry on the foundation of hard work, integrity, consistency and God. It is my greatest hope and belief that my country also stands by and with me at a time like this.

“In my entire career, I have done nothing but serve my country and clubs to the best of my personal and professional ability, with all my strength and might, with discipline, pride and passion and awareness that it is a privilege to be an ambassador of our great nation.”

Siasia’s 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”.

Perumal has admitted such activity in several interviews.

The former Nigeria international was appointed Super Eagles head coach from 2010 to October 2011 and was reappointed in 2016.

FIFA had in 1989 banned Nigeria for two years from age-grade football competitions over discrepancies discovered in the ages provided by the duo of Siasia and Dahiru Sadi.