Former Super Eagles’ striker and head coach, Samson Yebowei Siasia has confirmed that he has lodged an appeal against a life ban handed him by world soccer governing body, FIFA, on account of alleged involvement with match-fixing moguls.
Siasia, who admitted that he is also facing emotional anguish over the kidnap of his mother, who is yet to be released by her abductors, disclosed that he has filed an appeal over the FIFA ban at Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in an attempt to overturn the world football body’s verdict.
FIFA handed Siasia the ban last month, alleging that he agreed to receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches, but the soccer body has not provided details of the games said to have been targeted by the ex-international, who managed the Eagles between 2010 and 2011, then returned for a spell in 2016, apart from also coaching Nigeria’s under-20 and under-23 sides.
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has provided counsel and legal support for Siasia, who is also dealing with the kidnap of his 76-year-old mother, Madam Ogere Siasia, for the second time in four years, as she and two others were seized at Odoni, Sagbama LG, Bayelsa State last month.
In reaction to both incidents currently assailing him, the 52-year-old Siasia said he started the process to clear his name by filing an appeal at FIFA’s headquarters on August 27 and at CAS two days later, but admitted that his mother’s abduction is also a crucial issue he has to settle.
Siasia confirmed: “I’ve appealed against FIFA’s decision and you will probably hear the results like you hear about the ban. It’s been a tough time.
“I was totally unaware of the proceedings until I heard about FIFA’s decision. I am still dealing with the pain and challenges of my mother being kidnapped again and fighting to secure her release.
“It is my greatest hope and belief that my country also stands by and with me at a time like this. I wish to state that I have never been and would never be a party to any form of unethical conduct or perversion in the discharge of my duties in any capacity.
“In all my career, I have done nothing but serve my country to the best of my personal and professional ability, with all my strength and might, with discipline, pride and passion and an awareness that it is a privilege to be an ambassador of our great nation.”