NFF, Friends Deserted Me During My FIFA Ban -Siasia Narrates Ordeal
Former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia has accused the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and some of his friends who abandoned him during his trying times with the FIFA ban.
Siasia, who recently heaved a sigh of relief after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reduced his ban to five years, with a fine of CHF 50,000 (£39,000/$54,000/€45,000) also set aside.
Recall that the former Under-23 coach was sanctioned by world football’s governing body as part of a long-term investigation into match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal.
Reacting to the latest development, Siaone as he’s fondly called while briefing newsmen in Abuja stated that he was abandoned by those he considered his friends and the NFF.
“Even my close friends abandoned me. Even, for the Legends Game organised by FIFA, I have not been invited again.
“I don’t know what I did to them even when I wasn’t guilty of what I was accused of,” he said.
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“When the life ban pronouncement was first declared by FIFA, I met with the Minister of Youth and Sports Development who barely resumed office then and briefed him, But all the minister could say was that there was no money.
“But I have invested in human beings in this country by training lots of young players who are stars today.
“How will I fight FIFA? I don’t have that strength, but the government can stand up and stand for me. But everyone left me in the dark,” he said.
An associate of Siasia, Opukiri Jones-Ere, frowned at NFF’s neglect of a man he described as a legend in the country’s Football history.
“It’s very unfortunate that not even a word came from NFF. It’s not just appalling, but disappointing. If Nigerian football authorities can’t come out to say anything, it’s rather regrettable.
“NFF has not come out to say, maybe ‘there’s no money, but we are behind you’ even when the current NFF president is from the same side of the country. Other African nations are watching.
“Instead, in the peak of the trial, even an official vehicle with Siasia was withdrawn from him,” he said.